Congress MLA urges leaders to protect the Western Ghats

P T Thomas

Kochi: Congress MLA P T Thomas on Monday urged the party high command to take steps to protect the ecologically sensitive Western Ghats like late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi did to protect the iconic Silent Valley in Kerala.

The MLA also accused his party leaders, the ruling CPI(M) in the state and BJP government at the Centre of opposing recommendations of the Madhav Gadgil Committee to protect the scenic hills from the destruction caused by the recent floods.

He said over-exploitation of ecologically fragile Western Ghats had caused landslides in the hills that led to destruction of life and property during the floods.

It is time for entire humanity to stand together and support the implementation of the recommendations of the Gadgil Committee to protect the Western Ghats, he said.

“In the wake of the floods and the resultant widespread destruction, the leaders of the mainstream political parties, religious leaders and cultural icons should come together and start a campaign to protect the hills,” Thomas told PTI here.

He said Congressmen should never forget the fact that it was Indira Gandhi as the then Prime Minister who preserved Silent Valley in 1983 by rejecting the proposal of the state government to set up a hydro-electric power project there.

“In this context, the Congress high command should strongly support the Gadgil Committee report on Western Ghats…because the committee was set up by former Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh after discussing the issue with the high command, he said.

Thomas said the national and state-level leaders of the Congress have a “historic responsibility” to support the implementation of the recommendations of the Gadgil Committee to avoid yet another catastrophe in Kerala.

NT Bureau