Centre extends deadline for finalising Western Ghats environment safeguards by another year

Western Ghats. Photo: Manorama Online

New Delhi: The deadline to finalise the draft notification to earmark ecologically sensitive areas (ESAs) of the Western Ghats has been extended for one more year following issues raised by several states including Karnataka and Kerala.

The draft notification, now in its fourth iteration, issued on January 1, 2022, was to be finalised on June 30.

Besides the issues raised by the States, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change also considered the request of the committee, set up in April to finalise the draft, for a year's extension of the deadline.

Currently, the office memorandum issued based on the recommendations of the Kasturirangan Committee in 2013, is in force. Kerala has demanded the exclusion of 1337.24 square kilometers from the ESA. The demand was made after considering the issues of those living in the areas.

Karnataka, which demanded the exclusion of more than 6,000 square kilometers, raised issues pertaining to quarries and mining in those areas. 

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