Thiruvananthapuram: Amid protests over recommendations of a government report on Western Ghats, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Monday said its suggestions were "balanced" and hoped the parties concerned would not allow it to be "consigned to the dustbin of history".

Asked by reporters his reaction to Kerala government's stand that it cannot accept recommendations of the report, he said, "I think the report is a very balanced report. It is a very detailed report. It is also a very difficult report. Because there is a need to develop."

The Kerala government contends that most recommendations of the report Western Ghats Ecology Experts Panel, headed by Madhav Gadgil, are impractical to implement.

The committee, in its August 2011 report, had recommended strict limits on development in the ecologically fragile Western Ghats zone and an indefinite moratorium on mining in large parts of the eco-sensitive zone spread over several states including Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

States like Kerala, Maharashtra and Karnataka have opposed to the recommendations of the panel appointed two years ago when Ramesh was the Union Minister of Environment and Forests.

"It was after a great deal of thought I selected Madhav Gadgil and other members of the panel. I think they have produced a very balanced report," he said.

"I am sure that the state governments have their own views. This will be discussed. Now it is for the states and the Centre to sit down. I hope that the Madhav Gadgil report does not get consigned to the dustbin," he said.

At the same time, Ramesh said he was not "surprised" at the way the states have reacted to the report.

Opposing Kerala government's stand that it wanted to implement the Athirapplly power project at the ecologically sensitive area, Ramesh said, "as a concerned citizen that I hope that the state government will listen to the people of Kerala who have argued against the project.

"If you ask me about my view on Athirappally, my view has not changed. But I have nothing to do with Athirappally, anymore. It is between Kerala government and Ministry of Environment and Forests. I don't enter into the picture at all."

Last week, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had said that the state would once again give its opinion on the report and also the Athirapally project to the Centre after receiving suggestions of an expert committee appointed by the government to examine it.


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