Save the valuable Western Ghats

The states must recognise the dangers of destroying the ecosystem, especially when India has been facing the brunt of the climate crisis
States must accept that the climate crisis is a reality, and instead of delaying the decision-making process, devise more decisive climate-proofing actions to save the valuable Western Ghats. (HT Photo) PREMIUM
States must accept that the climate crisis is a reality, and instead of delaying the decision-making process, devise more decisive climate-proofing actions to save the valuable Western Ghats. (HT Photo)
Updated on Jan 03, 2022 10:54 PM IST
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ByHT Editorial

Measures to conserve the ecologically sensitive Western Ghats will be delayed by another six months after the Union government extended the deadline to notify the new rules till June 30, this newspaper reported on Monday. The deadline was set to expire on December 31. According to the Centre, the delay was due to the failure to conduct consultations due to the pandemic. While the government intends to prohibit or restrict industrial and developmental activities in some 37% of the mountain range — 59,940 sq km spread over Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat — the states are opposed to many such barriers.

The Ghats, a biodiversity hot spot, are in dire need of protection even as several developmental projects are queued up, threatening the fragile ecosystem. Unfortunately, states have been consistently opposed to protection measures. They rejected the Madhav Gadgil report, calling it “anti-agrarian”, necessitating the setting up of another panel under Dr K Kasturirangan, which experts said was a “diluted” version that tried to find a balance between saving livelihoods and the denigrating ecology.

The states must recognise the dangers of destroying the ecosystem, especially when India has been facing the brunt of the climate crisis. In fact, in the last few years, the region itself has witnessed the impact of rampant environmental destruction: Floods, droughts, landslides, and rising temperature. Such extreme climate events affect everyone, and also the economy. States must accept that the climate crisis is a reality, and instead of delaying the decision-making process, devise more decisive climate-proofing actions to save the valuable Western Ghats.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2022