Coming down heavily on Karnataka Government’s request to the Center for deletion of the 10 identified sites in Western Ghats, that come under the State of Karnataka, the Union Minister for forest, Jairam Ramesh told Deccan Herald that;
The Karnataka Government’s opposition to get Unesco heritage tag to the Western Ghats is giving wide scope to suspect that it is yielding to the pressure from vested interests like forest encroachers, mining, timber smugglers and poachers.
He also said that MoEF had first submitted its dossier on the Western Ghats for Unesco’s heritage status in March 2006 after getting the “approval” from the Karnataka government.
That seems to vindicate the stand of the environmentalists that they had nothing to do in proposal of Western Ghats for Heritage Tag. Some Political representatives and eminiment persons like A.K.Subbaiah & Nanda Subbaiah had been claiming for long that the environmentalists in Coorg are behind the move to notify certain areas in Coorg as World Heritage site.
The Union Minister also told Deccan Herald that the tag will not threaten human settlements, including tribal populations in the forest. He said “this is totally rubbish and concocted stories by vested interests people who have been looting forest wealth”.