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'RSS should ask Centre to implement report to protect hills'

RSS should ask Centre to implement report to protect hills

Kochi: RSS leadership should pressurise the BJP government at the centre to implement the undiluted Madhav Gadgil committee report on western ghats, a senior Congress leader said Thursday, on the eve of World Environment Day.

Congress leader P T Thomas, who had endorsed the Gadgil report when he was representing Idukki seat in Lok Sabha during UPA-II rule, also termed as "pathetic" the present stand of RSS on the crucial report to protect the ecologically sensitive hills.

He said the saffron outfit should "apply pressure" on the BJP government to implement the undiluted version of Gadgil report.

"They were vocal (in favour of Gadgil report) when UPA was in power. National leadership of RSS had strongly argued for the implementation of Gadgil panel report. We all expected that the Narendra Modi government would implement the report.

"But unfortunately...They also appear to have succumbed to the pressure of mining lobby which is responsible for the destruction of ecologically sensitive hills. The RSS leadership should make its position clear on the issue," Thomas told PTI here.

Thomas was denied a ticket by Congress to contest the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

His observations also come in wake of the Union Environment Ministry planning to take a final decision on Western Ghats reports prepared by Gadgil panel and its diluted version prepared by a panel led by space scientist Kasturirangan.

According to him, the climatic condition of Peermade and Munnar in Idukki district has changed drastically due to encroachment of forest land, unscientific developmental activities, felling of age old trees and illegal mining activities.

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