Kasturirangan panel report, if implemented in the Western Ghats, would lead to imposition of anti-people and anti-nature development across the ghats region, said eminent ecologist Madhav Gadgil on Wednesday.
On the sidelines of a seminar on ‘Environment and Society- The India Challenge’ here, Mr. Gadgil said majority of the people in Aranmula was against the proposed airport. However, the government was in favour of implementing it, he said.
Incidentally, the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, which had constituted the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP) led by Mr. Gadgil to suggest conservation measures for Western Ghats, had formed a high level working group to study the Gadgil report.
Mr. Gadgil accused the Union government and the Kasturirangan panel of presenting a distorted picture of WGEEP report. They created an impression that the WGEEP had recommended imposing stringent measures in the region. People in Wayanad chopped down trees in a frenzy following a misinformation campaign that they would not be allowed to cut trees anymore, he said.
At the seminar Mr. Gadgil said projects for conservation of natural resources and environment prepared without consulting the custodians of such natural resources and addressing the problems of affected people would not find social acceptance.
Mr. Gadgil also honoured noted environmentalist M.K. Prasad at the function. Prof. Prasad was among those who spearheaded the successful campaign to force the government drop its plan to set up a hydroelectric project in Silent Valley.