Western Ghats to be declared Ecologically Sensitive Area soon
On May 21, 2020, the Union Minister Prakash Javadekar interacted with the Chief Ministers of the State Governments through video conference. The meeting held discussions relating to notification of declaring Western Ghats as Ecologically Sensitive Area.
The states that participated in the video conference include Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Goa, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat. The Government of India constituted a High level working group under Dr Kasturirangan. The committee identified geographical areas in the states that need to be declared Ecologically Sensitive Areas. Based on the report submitted by the committee, the Central Government in 2018 issued a draft notice to notify the areas as Ecologically Sensitive Areas (ESA).
The meeting is a follow up to make a conclusion in declared the regions as ESA.
Outcome of the meet
The State Governments have expressed their interests in expediting early notification of ESA. They were unanimous in ensuring the protection of Western Ghats.
The State of Maharashtra proposed to include a greater number of villages as Ecologically Sensitive Areas. Under its proposal, the state has requested to include 2,092 villages under ESA. The Centre had proposed to include 2,133 villages.
These villages cover 37% of Western Ghats
What is ESA?
When an area is declared ESA, it means that restrictions are put on mining, thermal plants, quarrying, construction and setting up of industries.
Categories: Environment Current Affairs