Belagavi: The State government, bowing to pressure from members of the Legislative Assembly, particularly the BJP, clarified on Wednesday that a Cabinet sub-committee would visit the areas coming under the purview of the K. Kasturirangan panel report on Western Ghats conservation to elicit the views of people and address their concerns over the panel recommendations.
Minister for Higher Education R.V. Deshpande announced this after members cutting across party lines opposed the implementation of the panel’s recommendations which will cover 1,537 villages in the State.
Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa, who shared the concern of the elected representatives and the people over the issue, asked the government to clarify its stand on the advantages and disadvantages of the panel recommendations.
The State has sought two months’ time to submit its views to the Union government after the initial deadline expired on December 15, 2014.
The government’s reply was read out by Minister for Forests B. Ramanath Rai after the House witnessed animated discussion over the issue. He said there was no need for apprehension as the notification issued by the Centre on March 10, 2014 ceased to exist and that a new notification would be issued only after receiving the views of the State government.
BJP member K.G. Bopaiah, who initiated discussion over the issue, argued that the government was in “deep slumber” over the matter alleging that the report would have deleterious effect on people who would have to be evicted if the recommendation on eco-sensitive areas (ESAs) was implemented.