THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With back to back devastating floods causing massive destruction to life and property in the state, the ruling CPM has called upon the LDF government to constitute an expert panel for fresh recommendations on protection of environment and ecology.
The demand for an expert committee was one of the many proposals that came up for discussion at the two-day CPM state committee which concluded on Friday. The party decision comes in the wake of mounting criticism against the government for its failure to implement Gadgil and Kasturirangan panel recommendations on protection of Western Ghats.
CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said after the state committee meeting that the previous Gadgil and Kasturirangan committees did not factor in human requirements, and it was their major shortcoming. But in view of the devastating floods, there is an urgent need for addressing environmental issues and these cannot be pushed aside.
The party believes that the recommendations of Gadgil and Kasturi-rangan committees need to be examined again in the present context. It wants the government to constitute a committee comprising experts from different spheres to do the job.
CPM has appealed to all stakeholders and political parties to evolve a consensus on the issue. “Let’s all avoid controversies and evolve a consensus to protect the people of the state. There is need to curb all activities which pose danger to the environment and ecology. The present situation of people settling down anywhere and everywhere needs to be changed. People are even insisting on going back and constructing houses in flood ravaged areas which should be discouraged,” said Mr Balakrishnan.
The party feels that it is time for village panchayats to come out with specific master plan which clearly demarcates areas where construction activities are allowed and restricted. As of now most urban local bodies have such master plans.
The party has called for stringent measures against unchecked sand mining, quarrying and destruction of rocks for meeting the demand of construction sector. Since a blanket ban on quarrying and sand mining could bring the development activities to a grinding halt, the state needs to come out with innovative ideas for environment friendly construction with minimum or no use of sand and rocks.
The party wants the government to take the lead in presenting a model before the people. “The government should construct its building in an environment friendly manner. The political parties can also follow suit,” the CPM state secretary said.
The party has decided to take up environment protection as a major task and enlist environmentalists’ cooperation, too....