Goa govt urges centre to drop 40 Goan villages from eco sensitive areas

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Panaji: CM Dr.  Pramod Sawant on Wednesday said that the state government has asked the central government’s committee on the western ghats to drop 40 (forty) villages from the list of eco-sensitive areas in the western ghats of the state.

Talking to reporters, Sawant said that he has been following the issue of eco sensitive areas from Goa since the year 2019 with the union ministry of environment, forest and climate change.

Sawant said that the state government has demanded that 40 out of 99 villages identified by the committee, should be dropped. “If they want, they can add 10 more villages in the eco-sensitive areas, so that the total villages will be 69,” the chief minister said.

The chief minister on Monday met the team of MoEFCC led by retired IFS officer Sanjay Kumar who was in Goa to meet the stakeholders from the western ghat. The team had held hearings in Quepem and Sattari talukas.

Sawant said that the notification of villages as eco sensitive areas prohibits only red industry and certain commercial activity within them. He said that the people can continue their daily activities including construction of houses in these villages.

It may be recalled that in July, 2022, the union ministry had issued a draft notification proposing that 99 Goan villages which are spread over 1,461 square kilometers of area be declared as eco-sensitive areas.

 Kasturirangan committee on the western ghats had identified 99 Goan villages as eco-sensitive areas.  Mhadei, Netravali, Cotigao, Bhagwan Mahavir, and Bondla wildlife sanctuaries had been included in the eco-sensitive zones identified in the report.

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