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Kerala sticks to its stand on Kasturirangan report

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Kerala sticks to its stand on Kasturirangan report
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Thiruvananthapuram: The State government has decided to stick to its stand that the human settlements area and agricultural land should be excluded from the purview of the Ecologically Sensitive Area (ESA).

The decision was taken at a special Cabinet meeting held here on Tuesday morning.

The State wanted to withdraw an office memorandum issued by MoEF in last November, which slapped a slew of restrictions on activities in villages under ESA.

The Environment Ministry, which has prepared the draft notification on the implementation of the Kasturirangan report, is now waiting for the nod from the Law Ministry. The draft notification is expected to be announced this evening, sources said.

Union Environment Secretary R. Rajagopalan Monday had told reporters that the draft notification had been prepared after considering the concerns raised by Kerala.

The stalemate over the issue became more complex with the statement made by Veerappa Moily, Union minister for Environment on Thursday. Moily had said issues raised by Kerala would not be sorted out fully before the elections.

In Kerala, 123 villages were notified as either ecologically sensitive areas (ESAs) or ecologically fragile land (EFL) and this includes thickly populated villages and even parts of towns.

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