Could destruction due to rains in Kerala have been avoided?

NC Network, New Delhi 

The destruction caused by the rains and floods in Kerala would have been less severe if the government had taken an initiative to implement the recommendations made in the Gadgil Committee preservation of the Western Ghats, a noted environmentalist said.

The report of Ecologist Madhav Gadgil suggested checks on quarrying, discouraging cultivation of yearly crops on hill slopes and planting fruit-bearing tress there and restriction on construction in the area.

If the government would have implemented what was suggest by the committee the damage would have been less notified Gadgil. However, it was not possible to protect and preserve the whole of the Western Ghats. So what is required now is to take development and conservation together. The basic concept of the report was that development and conservation are  not two conflicting things.

Dismissing charges that the Gadgil report is "anti-development" and "anti-farmer", he said it is a pro-development report to the core.

The Gadgil Committee report had been a point of debate in the state ever since it was submitted with all major political parties showing reluctance in accepting and implementing the recommendations into  following protests from local people in high range areas.The local people and those who oppose the report fear the implementation would result in large-scale displacement of small and marginal farmers settled on the slopes of the hill ranges.

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