No environmental bar to projects cleared in Konkan

August 26th, 2010 - 8:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Aug 26 (IANS) Environmental clearance already granted to projects in the Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts of coastal Maharashtra will continue to be in force, despite the four-month moratorium imposed for giving such clearance, the union environment ministry has clarified.
According to an official statement, the ministry’s four-month moratorium — from Aug 16, 2010, till December 2010 — on considering projects for Environmental Impact Assessment will not apply to projects already cleared in the two districts of the eco-sensitive Konkan region.

The decision on the moratorium was taken following representations from various quarters expressing concern over the environmental impact and ecological degradation due to projects being proposed in these districts.

Keeping in view the ecological importance of the Western Ghats, the ministry has also constituted the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel, headed by environmental expert Madhav Gadgil.

The panel will suggest measures for conservation, protection and rejuvenation of the Western Ghats and also examine the developmental trends in the region.

The Western Ghats cover an area of approximately 1.6 lakh sq km and is spread across Gujarat (Dangs region), Konkan in Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and parts of Tamil Nadu.

The area is rich in flora and fauna and is home to several rare species of birds, animals and reptiles, and new species are discovered regularly.

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