April 1st, 2014
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Kerala Govt. protecting the vested interests of mafia groups: Madhav Gadgil

Dr. Madhav Gadgil

Kannur: Kerala Government is protecting the vested interests of certain mafia groups by choosing to implement the potentially harmful Kasturirangan report over the pro-people and pro-nature Gadgil Report, said Madhav Gadgil.

Dr. Gadgil who was the chairman of the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel said that the interests of the powerful pesticide-quarry-tourist mafia were being given precedence over the interests of common people by the Government. The implementation of Kasturirangan report will be a disaster for both the environment and its people.

Gadgil said the panel report was completely distorted to create fear in the minds of farmers. They were given the impression that it would mean the end of their livelihood. This was done deliberately by certain mafia groups who took advantage of their fear and mobilized the farmers against the report.

Gadgil report stands for sustainable development, it focuses mainly on the farmers and downtrodden. The methodology adopted by the Gadgil panel in preparing the report was painstakingly meticulous and was done by travelling the length and breadth of the Western Ghats over a period of time. Nothing in this report is against the interests of farmers or adivasis who inhabit the area.

The report was not against giving new permissions for building of houses, factories or for using lands for farming. In short, it did not recommend halting any economic activity in the area. People should understand that the unholy nexus between political, religious, corporate, mining and quarry groups here aims to put Western Ghats up for sale. Any such move will destroy the unique biodiversity of Western Ghats.

According to Gadgil report the power to decide which type of developments should take place was upon the Grama Sabhas. People should understand which ecologically sensitive zone their area comes under and should take decisions accordingly. The prerogative for deciding whether their area was to be considered even as a sensitive area was left to the people.

Those who govern us, right from the Prime Minister consider economic development the only true indicator of development. But it needs to be reminded that though the rate of development had increased manifold, workforce growth rate was only one percent.

The treaties drawn up for development in this country should not end up for the ‘development’ of a few. Sadly, only contractors and real-estate mafia seem to benefit from Kasturirangan report, he observed.


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