Special Correspondent The Central Kerala diocese of the Church of South India (CSI) has formally endorsed the recommendations of Western Ghat Ecology Expert panel Report (Gadgil Committee Report) and has called upon the State and Central governments to take necessary steps to implement the recommendations taking precautions to protect the interests of the settlers in the High Range area.
In a letter mailed to K Kasturirangan, chairman of the High Level group on WGEEP Report, Bishop Thomas K Oommen head of the Central Kerala diocese said the only people adversely affected by the report were those ruthlessly exploiting the resources, “especially those involved in illegal mining, quarrying, sand-mining, wood trading, illegal construction, cultivation of ganja and poaching,” the letter said. He pointed out that the most interesting feature of the report was that the recommendations were tentative and flexible. This gave the local communities and the local bodies the ultimate power in decision making. The recommendations were especially crucial for Kerala which was critically dependent on the Western Ghats for itsnatural resources, biodiversity, the wetlands, paddy cultivation and agricultural practices.
The decision of the Central Kerala diocese is based on the recommendations of the department of ecological concerns under the diocese following the colloquium held last January. ‘The only people adversely affected by the report are those ruthlessly exploiting the resources.’