By Accommodation Times Bureau
Be-aware! Second Homes plots buyers will be in trouble if they buy plots or land or bungalow or farm houses in the region of Ratnagiri and many parts of 200 kms radius of Mumbai. Starting from Yeur Hills till Shahpur, Murbad and many parts of Mahad and Mangaon are likely to be declared under Heritage status. That means nothing can be done nor any development can take effect in these regions. All the transactions will be void and null after the declaration. Many parts of land in Shaee and Kalu will be effected due to proposed Dams in these areas. The water may eat away your hard earned money you are investing in second homes and plots schemes.
While environmentalists are rejoicing that constant international scrutiny will curb amassment of forest wealth by vested interests, the state governments have given a guarded reaction. Skeptics are of the view that the tag willmake little difference to many ecologicaly destructive projects that have been implemented or are proposed in the Western Ghats.
Experts and legal professionals are advising clients not to purchase land these areas.
The World Heritage status could have implications on development in and around these sites as UNESCO prescribes creation of additional buffer zones around the natural world heritage sites and putting in place an overarching management authority for conservation of the selected 39 serial sites. Conservationists also fear a mad-rush to these sensitive areas in the guise of eco-tourism. “This might trigger commercial activities in the Western Ghats, followed by construction activities like building roads, structures, power lines and other infrastructure, which will defeat the purpose of protecting the green cover and habitat protection,” says an activist associated with the Kudremukh Wildlife Foundation in Karnataka.
The Western Ghats expert Dr. Madhav Gadgil has welcomed the UNESCO gesture and said “It will hopefully strengthen the Acts like Biological Diversity Act of 2002, which empowers the local bodies like panchayats to take appropriate steps for conservation.” The participation of locals is going to be crucial in determining the success of conservation efforts and promising sustainable development.
All along the Western Ghats in five states, there are lakhs of tribal people who have made their homes in theghats. The Thodas of Nilgiris, Soligas of BR Hills, Malekudiyas of Belthangady, Halakki Vokkals of Uttara Kannada, the Sidhis of Kumta, Paniyas of Waynad, Kattunayakans of Malabar and many others in Goa and Maharashtra are some of them. The Perspective Plan for Protection of Biodiversity 2001-16 states that “tribal communities are part of the biodiversity and the state governments should not take them out of their natural surroundings, but empower them democratically and let the government facilities go to them.”
The ground situation for people’s participation in development is conducive in most parts of the Western Ghats.The region has some of the highest levels of literacy in the country, and a high level of environmental awareness. The democratic institutions are well entrenched, and Kerala leads the country in capacity building and empowering ofPanchayat Raj Institutions. Goa has recently concluded a very interesting exercise, Regional Plan 2021, of taking inputs from Gram Sabhas in deciding on the land use policies. Evidently, Western Ghats are an appropriate region of the country to attempt to make the transition towards an inclusive, caring and environment friendly mode of development.