Dharwad-based NGO Jan Sangram Parishat (JSP) has urged the Union and the state governments concerned to accept and implement the report of the Western Ghats Expert Panel submitted to the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests on August 31, 2011.
JSP convenor S R Hiremath said here at the weekend that the report submitted by the panel headed by scientist Madhav Gadgil had come out with concrete steps to preserve and conserve the Western Ghats which was facing the threat of serious ecological imbalance.
He said that the issue relating to the Western Ghats was not a matter confined just to the districts adjoining the Western Ghats area but it was an issue relating to the very existence of the entire peninsula. "None of the areas of Karnataka would be spared if the ecology of the Western Ghats is harmed," he said.
Hiremath said, Western Ghats is the backbone of the ecology as well as economy of the state and the ecological imbalance in that region would affect about 20,000 acres of agrarian land, 25 towns and 300 villages. "The drinking water problem would be multiplied 100 times in Bangalore. The reservoirs of Krishna and Narayanpur may not fill up if the ecological imbalance in the Western Ghats affects the rivers. Saving the Western Ghats is the question of life and livelihood of the entire state," he asserted.
The JSP would organise a workshop on the expert panel's report at Ranibennur on June 8 and June 9. The organisations working in the Western Ghats regions and other parts of the country would take part in this workshop, he said.
Replying to a query, Hiremath said, the JSP would oppose any major human intervention in nature including the proposed project to divert the Netravathi River to provide drinking water to Tumkur and the surrounding areas.
He said, the Western Ghats expert panel's report too had advised against the inter-river basin transfer of water. The natural course of the river should not be diverted. Tampering with nature to help people of one particular region is not suggestible. JSP would also support people opposing the Dandavati project in the Western Ghats area to intensify the struggle. Similarly, it would protest in August where the people were affected by NMDC and others, he said.