Kasturirangan report heats up Kerala assembly

    By IANS,

    Thiruvananthapuram : The G. Kasturirangan committee report is likely to create a flap during the current assembly session as 13 legislators walked out and sat on a day-long fast in front of the assembly Tuesday.

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    The Left opposition’s demand for a discussion on the report was shot down by speaker G. Karthikeyan which prompted leader of opposition V. S. Achuthanandan to say that the Chandy government was not interested in farmers’ welfare.

    “Kasturirangan is not an environmentalist…the report is detrimental to the interests of the farmers…Chandy is misleading the house and the people,” said Achuthanandan.

    “…we are protesting and our legislators are walking out…will sit in front of the assembly to protest,” he added.

    The union environment and forests ministry in November last year came out with an order which had five conditions applicable to 123 villages in the state.

    The order prohibits mining, setting up of thermal plants and also restricts construction of buildings to less than 20,000 square metres. It also states that no township project in these villages can exceed 50 hectares and industries in the red category cannot be set up in these villages.

    The ministry had clamped the ban on the basis of the Kasturirangan panel report on the Western Ghats Nov 16.

    The order was particularly resented in the hilly district of Idukki and Wayanad as well as the hill areas of Kozhikode and Kannur districts.

    Chandy told the assembly Tuesday that as long as his government is in office, nobody will have to move out from their present dwelling.

    “We will all work together to see that our people’s interest…Now that the state government appointed committee’s report is on the website, we want all people to read it and come out with their comments…,” said Chandy.

    “…not a single person will move out from where they are now staying. We are certainly for protecting the environment but it will not happen at the cost of the people,” assured Chandy.