Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP), chairman Madhav Gadgil on Friday slammed the state government for permitting linear projects in Mollem wildlife sanctuary and Bhagwan Mahavir National Park. According to Gadgil, WGEEP recommends that there shall be no linear projects in Mollem wildlife sanctuary and Bhagwan Mahavir National Park.
Gadgil said that “Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel had suggested that the Western Ghats be divided into zones of three levels of ecological sensitivity; the ecologically most sensitive localities were assigned to ESZ1, those with medium level of sensitivity were labelled as ESZ2 and the those with lower levels of sensitivity were labelled as ESZ3”.
“We had suggested that there should be no interference of any sort in the ecologically most sensitive zone ESZ1. For ecological sensitivity we had used a well defined multifactorial quantitative index that was arrived at after an open discussion through public forums including a publication widely circulated scientific fortnightly”, Gadgil said.
He further said that “ An important yardstick for deciding on the values of this quantitative index above which the areas will be classified as the most sensitive were the levels in the areas currently classified as protected areas. It was specifically mentioned that all currently protected areas are to be included in the ecologically most sensitive zone ESZ1 in which there must not be any human interference”.