New Delhi: Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar on Thursday interacted with Chief Ministers, Cabinet Ministers & State Government Officers of six states including Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu through Video Conference to discuss issues relating to notification of Ecologically Sensitive Area (ESA) pertaining to Western Ghats.
To conserve and protect the bio diversity of Western Ghats while allowing for sustainable and inclusive development of the region, Government of India had constituted a high-level Working Group under the Chairmanship of Dr. Kasturirangan. The Committee had recommended that identified geographical areas falling in the six States of Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu may be declared as Ecologically Sensitive Areas. A draft notification was issued in October 2018 mentioning the areas to be notified in the ESA.
States were of unanimous view that looking into the importance of Western Ghats, there is need to ensure protection of the western Ghats. However, the states expressed their views as regards activities and extent of area mentioned in the said notification. It was decided that state specific issues shall be further deliberated so as to arrive at a consensus on the issue. The states expressed their desire to expedite early notification while protecting interest of ecology and environment.