Pune NGO to form vigilance squads to monitor W Ghats

DNA, PUNE | 16 November 2013 21:27 IST

After the ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) notified nearly 60,000 sq km western ghats across six states as ecologically sensitive area (ESA) and declared it as ‘no-go’ zones for industries, Pune based NGO, Save Pune Hills Initiative announced that they will form a vigilance squad, including volunteers and citizens, to keep an eye on illegal industrial activities in the prohibited ghat areas.

According to the notification issued on Wednesday, MoEF banned activities like mining, quarrying and thermal power plant projects at the declared ‘no-go’ zone in six states which includes, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It also mentions detailed list of states, districts, Talukas and villages under ESA.

Save Pune Hills Initiative has welcomed this initiative and assured that NGO will gather other NGOs and local residents to ensure that the law is properly implemented.

Deepak Bidkar, convener of Save Pune Hills initiative said, “Ministry’s notification is only half way towards protecting the western ghats. Now, its the responsibility of government machineries, NGOs and local residents to make sure that the order is followed in a strict manner. Therefore, we have decided to form a vigilance committee by gathering local residents together.”

“In the state total 46 taluka, including nine talukas in Pune have been declared as ESA. We will create awareness among the localites about the government notification. They should understand what this notification is all about and what kind of activities are banned in the ghat region. We will have a vigil in the protected areas with the help of local residents and any kind of illegal industrial activity will be informed to the government officials by the vigilance committee,” Bidkar said.

Original Report

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