Bengaluru: The Centre is gearing up to issue a new draft notification that will declare the Western Ghats as an eco-sensitive are (ESA) and Karnataka is all set to reject the same citing adverse effects on the state’s economy.
The first version of the notification in 2014 declared 56,825 sq km of the Western Ghats as eco-sensitive, which included parts of Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. Once declared eco-sensitive, mining and industries that cause pollution, will be prohibited in the area. This notification was opposed by all the states involved as it would affect economic development. This time’s notification, however, is being opposed to only by Karnataka.
An official at the Karnataka Forest Ministry said that the decision to oppose the notification is not new as a Cabinet sub-committee had already taken the decision before the current government was in place. They added that there were ministers who had interests in the mining industry, and if the Western Ghats were declared an ESA, not even roads could be built in the area.