The Madras High Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea seeking the creation of a permanent body to implement the recommendations of two committees, viz Madhav Gadgil and Kasturi Rangan, on safeguarding the ecology and biodiversity of Western and Eastern Ghats, holding that the issue pertains to the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
The petitioner, KS Radhakrishnan, a DMK spokesperson, had submitted that the recommendation by Madhav Gadgil and Kasturi Rangan panels have not been adhered to, resulting in grave damage to these ghats.
He said the Western Ghats extend to around 1.6 lakh sqkm, from Kanniyakumari to Gujarat, spanning six States. But while other states are properly utilising natural resources, Tamil Nadu, which has a spread of over 28,200 sqkm, has failed to utilise them properly. He also claimed that misutilisation and mismanagement of resources are rampant, not only by the administrators but also by the public.
Radhakrishnan submitted that the Eastern Ghats, which run from northern Odisha to Tamil Nadu, has a wide list of sanctuaries, national parks, hills, rivers and waterfalls, providing great natural aesthetics to the entire region. But failure to implement the Tamil Nadu Hill Areas (Preservation of Trees) Act of 1955 has made protection of trees in private holdings a challenge.