Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Congress (M) chairman Jose K Mani, MP, and State Minister Roshy Augustine submitted a petition to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan seeking to conduct a ground survey instead of a satellite survey to file the report on buffer zones to the Centre’s high-level committee.
The appeal also sought to form Village-Panchayath level committees for the survey.
The State Government’s move to file a review petition in the Supreme Court against its buffer zone direction was welcomed by the party.
In 2013, the State Government had formed expert committees in the respective villages to resolve the crisis as part of the Gadgil and Kasturirangan committee reports.
For a similar study, panchayath-level committees must be formed soon in all designated buffer zone regions. The high-level committee must be approached based on the reports from these panchayath-level committees.
The reports can be prepared quickly as many villages included in the buffer zone are those recommended by Gadgil and Kasturirangan committees.
A State high-level committee comprising of secretaries of Revenue, Agriculture, Forests, Local Self-Governance and Survey departments and led by the Chief Secretary must be formed urgently to oversee what the State must do in this complicated issue. The same committee must also oversee matters related to the Western Ghat Eco-Sensitive Zone, the Kerala Congress (M) leaders demanded.