A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the October 2018 draft notification by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change relating to the demarcation of 56,825 sq km as the Western Ghats ecologically sensitive area (ESA).
The petition, filed by NGO Karshaka Shabdam, said that through October 2018 draft notification — the area of over 50,000 sq km spread across Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu has been demarcated as the Western Ghats ESA.
Challenging the constitutional validity of the draft notification, the plea also sought directions to the Kerala government to not implement the recommendations of the Western Ghats ecologically expert panel, also known as the Gadgil Committee.
The Gadgil Committee had suggested that the entire hill range be declared as an ESA and further classified 142 taluks as Ecologically Sensitive Zones 1, 2, and 3, the plea, which was filed last week, said.
The NGO, in its plea, submitted that instead of allowing people to pursue their livelihood as they have over centuries in consonance with nature, the intent of the draft notification seems to disrupt lives and discourage agriculture.
Proposed non-permissible activities like banning of the red category industries such as hospitals, dispensaries, dairy processing units, hotels, incinerators, etc may have serious repercussions on the livelihood of people in these villages, the plea said claiming that the draft notification will disrupt the right to livelihood.