Cen­tre lifts ban on pro­jects in Rat­na­giri

Down to Earth - - THE FORTNIGHT -

THE UNION en­vi­ron­ment min­istry has par­tially lifted the mora­to­rium on devel­op­ment pro­jects in Rat­na­giri and Sind­hudurg dis­tricts of Ma­ha­rash­tra. This was in re­sponse to the state gov­ern­ment's re­quest last Oc­to­ber urg­ing the Cen­tre to re­move talukas not fall­ing in Western Ghats from the list of eco­log­i­cally sen­si­tive zones. The min­istry had im­posed a mora­to­rium on en­vi­ron­men­tal clear­ances of de­vel­op­men­tal pro­jects, in­clud­ing power and min­ing, in five talukas of Rat­na­giri and six talukas in Sind­hudurg.

The min­istry has now said that mora­to­rium on new pro­jects will con­tinue only in those vil­lages which were iden­ti­fied as eco-sen­si­tive by the N Kas­turi­ran­gan com­mit­tee on Western Ghats, and in an­other 25 vil­lages of Sind­hudurg, which are un­der lit­i­ga­tion in the Bom­bay High Court. The 25 vil­lages are listed in a case filed by non-profit Awaz foun­da­tion, which pleaded with the court to de­clare the iron ore-rich Sawant­wadi-Do­damarg Cor­ri­dor fre­quented by tigers an eco­log­i­cally sen­si­tive area. Vil­lage res­i­dents fear the eco-sen­si­tive tag will ham­per devel­op­ment.

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