Only a third of the 1.64-lakh-sq-km Western Ghats is to be declared as an Ecologically Sensitive Area (ESA). The Union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) said this in an internal office memo on Thursday after accepting in principle the Kasturirangan report on the demarcation of the Western Ghats, which are spread along a length of over 1,500 km through six states.
The Kasturirangan high-level working group was set up after the governments of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat protested against the recommendations of the Madhav Gadgil panel to declare almost all of the Western Ghats as an Ecologically Sensitive Area. The ghats are a bio-diversity hotspot.
Full report here Times of India