The Environment and Forests Ministry had in November last year come out with an order, which had five conditions applicable to 123 villages in the state.

The order prohibits mining, setting up of thermal plants and also restricts construction of buildings to less than 20,000 square metres.

It also states that no township project in these villages can exceed 50 hectares and industries in the red category cannot be set up in these villages.

Earlier on November 16, the Environment and Forests Ministry had clamped the ban on the basis of the Kasturirangan panel report on Western Ghats.

This is the second shutdown in these districts since November.

"The decision of the Left to call a shutdown is nothing but a political ploy ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. We are certain that the Centre would be considerate and would do the needful," state’s Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said on Saturday.

A state appointed panel met top forest ministry officials in Delhi on Thursday to explain the concerns of people about the fallout of the report.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, an official said that the issues were being blown out of proportion by vested interests, which includes political parties and also the media.

"The state government is very clear that they will not allow the eviction of a single person in any of the 123 villages. No government can provide any solution to fears or news being circulated on rumours and speculations," said the official.

(Agencies)

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