In an affidavit filed before the National Green Tribunal, the Ministry of Environment and Forests submitted it is examining the recommendations of K Kasturirangan-led panel and will not process the Gadgil report for further action.
A bench, headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, directed the counsel appearing for the Ministry to seek instructions from MoEF and file an appropriate response in this regard on September 9.
“…It has been stated that the Ministry does not wish to process the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP) Report, that is the Gadgil Report and would take subsequent actions only in relation to the High-Level Working Group (HLWG) Report, that is Dr Kasturirangan Report…,” the bench said.
The Tribunal was hearing a plea by two NGOs, Goa Foundation and Peaceful Society, which had sought to restrain the authorities from granting fresh nods to projects in the region.
Gadgil panel in its report to MoEF dated August 31, 2011 has designated the entire Western Ghats as an ecologically- sensitive area and divided the whole region in three categories according to their ecological sensitivities.
The WGEEP had in its report recommended that no mining should be allowed in the Western Ghats in Goa.
For mining activities in other areas in two categories, WGEEP had recommended that no new licenses should to be given and where mining exists, it should be phased out in five years by 2016.
The committee had also recommended that no new polluting industry should be allowed in the regions of the first two categories and non-polluting industries may be allowed with strict regulation and social audit.