Kerala has to maintain the balance between development and ecology: Madhav Gadgil – The New Indian Express

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KOCHI: Four years of heavy rain, floods, landslides and devastation. Natural disasters are commonplace for Kerala. Every year when the state is devastated by floods, it triggers a debate on the report of the Madhav Gadgil Committee.

The Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel was established in 2010 by former Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh to assess the ecology and biodiversity of Western Ghats and propose measures to conserve, protect and rejuvenate the region, which stretches around 1,500 km from Gujarat to Kerala extends.

In its report, the panel suggested designating the entire area as ecologically sensitive and classifying it as ecologically sensitive zones based on the existing condition and the type of threat. A decade after his report sparked controversy in Kerala, Gadgil believes that implementing his report would have helped reduce the effects of climate change and extreme climate events.

“The recent floods and landslides are unfortunate. What we said in the report was based on a truthful collection of scientific evidence. Nobody can fault the report. However, certain stakeholders who wanted to make quick money off of harmful ecology resisted the report and it was sabotaged. Had Kerala implemented the report, we could have avoided many unfortunate incidents. “

Madhav Gadgil told TNIE. He said climate change has triggered extreme climate events around the world. The world is experiencing more cyclones and intense rains.

“Unscientific land use and the functioning of quarries near environmentally sensitive areas have increased the pace of natural disasters in Kerala. The conversion of land for individual crops at high altitudes is what causes landslides. Any development project should only be implemented after taking into account the opinion of the local population, ”said Gadgil.

Criticizing the move to develop a high-speed rail corridor in Kerala, Gadgil said he had received hundreds of letters pointing out the environmental impact of the project. “We are doing more damage to the environment by taking up new projects. This will lead to the opening of more quarries. Our report proposed a democratic process to get the opinion of the local population before starting a project. I don’t think there is any support for the rail corridor project on the ground floor, ”he said.

Gadgil said that in the face of recurrent flooding, Kerala should discuss its report at the Grama Sabha level to raise awareness of the need for conservation. “Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad translated my report to Malayalam and should be distributed to all panchayats for discussion in Grama Sabhas. People should understand the impact of development on ecology and let them decide on future actions. We should keep a balance between development and ecology, ”he said.


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