Clampdown on SiliverLine protests an error: Madhav Gadgil

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dr Gadgil said that claiming a contradiction between development and environmental protection is a completely wrong position

dr Gadgil said that claiming a contradiction between development and environmental protection is a completely wrong position

“To use violence to crush the protests against the SilverLine semi-high-speed rail project in Kerala is a grave mistake,” says Madhav Gadgil, a prominent ecologist.

dr Gadgil, chairman of the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel, responded to a question by explaining whether the left-wing government, which has come to power in the state for the second year in a row, is making a mistake by stating that “the people are sovereign”. to the popular protests against the SilverLine project.

“Her [people’s] Wishes must be respected. Democracy is our greatest strength and decentralization is Kerala’s proud heritage. We should revive the spirit of the 1995-96 popular planning campaign,” he said The Hindu amid rising opposition from people whose land is being purchased for the mega infrastructure project, valued at ₹63,940 crore.

dr Gadgil said that claiming a contradiction between development and environmental protection was a completely wrong position when reminded of the government’s firm determination that the state needs development projects such as the semi-high-speed rail corridor.

dr Gadgil explained that the country will only see a turnaround if there is a fair sharing of the huge costs of environmental degradation for which the people of the biosphere are primarily responsible, saying that these costs are increasing day by day, which was impressively demonstrated by the recent Puthumala, Pettimudi and Koottickal landslides in Kerala.

“The most common victims of environmental degradation are the ecosystem people and environmental refugees, but they are still moving in with the more affluent classes of Indian society, as illustrated by the catastrophic ‘century flood’ that hit Kerala in 2018. As almost the entire state went under water, the fishermen came out by the hundreds with their humble fishing boats that made the difference between life and death for millions stranded in their homes,” he said.

dr Gadgil pointed out that it is very nice to greet the fishermen or give them jobs for their selfless service. “But what is clearly needed is to stop crowding them out for projects like the Vizhinjam Port and ruining fisheries through continued pollution of coastal waters, mining of beach sands and encroachment on mangrove swamps, the nurseries for fish, in order to to build luxury homes. There are signs that the fishermen and other ecosystem people and environmental refugees are beginning to rise up and demand justice and justice; they are the ones who can steer the country towards a people- and nature-friendly country, disorganized and uninformed,” he said.

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