KOTTAYAM: Gadgil supporter P.T. Thomas, MLA, has demanded the immediate constitution of a Western Ghats Ecology Authority (WGEA), as suggested by the Gadgil committee report. It should include the panchayats, which could monitor the activities in the region, he said.
It may be recalled that the Thrikkakara MLA, who had confronted the Church on the Gadgil report, was denied the sitting Idukki Lok Sabha seat in 2014. He asked the mainstream political parties to take a positive stand on the report. “The KPCC president and others have demanded the implementation of the report, which is a positive sign,” he said.
The Gadgil report had recommended 64 per cent of Western Ghats to be declared as an ecologically sensitive area. It had suggested the establishment of the WGEA for the management of the ghats and three levels of categorisation where regulatory measures for protection would be imposed.
He said the government had imposed restrictions on the construction of buildings in Wayanad of late taking a cue from the Gadgil report. However, the government was granting licence for rock quarries. Over 7,500 unauthorised rock quarries are functioning in the state, he alleged.
He felt the people of Idukki have changed their opposition to the recommendations in view of the recurring natural disasters. The Idukki diocese had also softened its stand.
“The pivotal point of the Gadgil report is to ensure sustainable development and environmental protection,”he said and denied that the implementation of the report will affect the farmers and the quarries.
“Gadgil report says that the quarrying could be done in a controlled way. They should be operated by the workers’ cooperative units. If the farmer sustains any damage due to agricultural activities, the government should compensate the losses. The institution that produces waste should take care of it, as per the report.