WhatsApp Image 2023-02-26 at 9.49.20 AM (1)
WhatsApp Image 2023-02-26 at 9.49.20 AM

Politics over environment

Kochi: Politicking over environmental protection has once again raised its head with the Left Front calling a hartal in Idukki today seeking dilution of the Supreme Court’s strict order on Ecologically Sensitive Zones (ESZ).
The UDF has followed suit by announcing a hartal on June 16, dumping the position of the departed Congress leader P T Thomas who fought hard to implement steps to protect the environment.
One can justify LDF’s stand as the party had a clear stand against imposing restrictions on the use of land in the name of environment protection.
Whereas the Congress had no clear stand on the issue except late MLA  P T Thomas who fought tooth and nail in favour of implementing the Madhav Gadgil panel report  to protect Western ghats in 2015 which led to his alienation within the party.
This made him the enemy of the Church and the Congress was forced to deny him a seat in the 2014 Lok Sabha election when he was a sitting MP.
After his demise a few months back , the Congress glorified Thomas for his strong stand even during the recently concluded Thrikkakara Assembly by-election necessitated by his death.
This is a classic example of the Congress speaking in two voices.
Apart from this, it is most undemocratic on the part of the two major fronts to deprive the people of their rights to carry out normal activities through hartals.
LDF on one hand boasts of attracting tourists and investors into the state and on the other hand it sponsors strikes that hit the economy and tourism industry badly.
Disrupting services in a place like Idukki, which has a large number of tourist spots, is cruel mainly at a time when people are struggling to earn their living through different means.
People in the district rely strongly on public transport services which will come to a standstill during the hartal.
Foreign tourists will be the main victims of the hartal.
The Western Ghats Ecology Experts Panel (WGEEP) has identified 25 ecologically sensitive areas in Kerala.

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