Kochi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Sunday assured the people of Kerala that the government would take a decision on the recommendations of the Kasturirangan Report on Western Ghats conservation keeping in view the development needs of the state.
"The Western Ghats are a hot spot of bio-diversity and its protection and preservation is necessary for our sustainable development. We will decide on the recommendations of Kasturirangan report keeping in view the development needs of Kerala," Singh said.
"We will ensure that agricultural and other development work in the hilly region of Kerala are not adversely affected.
The genuine interests of farmers and other inhabitants of the area will be fully protected. We will specially continue to work for the well being of farmers. I am happy that the government of Kerala has taken steps in this regard," he said.
The Prime Minister was addressing an election meeting of Congress candidate and Union minister K V Thomas at nearby Thoppumpady. Thomas is the Congress-led UDF candidate from Ernakulam Lok Sabha constituency.
Singh also urged the people of the state not to believe the false propaganda being made in respect of implementation of the report.
Yesterday, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi had also assured the people of the state that their concerns on the recommendation of the report would be taken note of.
Settler farmers in Idukki district and neighbouring areas have been agitating against the report fearing that the recommendations including restrictions on human activities in "Ecologically Sensitive Areas" would adversely affect their livelihood and even lead to displacement.