Panaji: The reported ecologist Madhav Gadgil has warned that Goa may face the same fate as the Kerala flooded by floods if it does not take precautions on the environment. As in some other states, Goa is also witnessing activities that are driven by greed for unlimited profits, Gadgil said, leading a commission that organized a much-discussed investigation into the Western Ghats a few years ago.
"Of course all kinds of problems crop up on the environment in the Western Ghats, Goa obviously does not have Western Ghats as high as in Kerala, but I'm sure Goa will also experience all kinds of problems, he said, reacting to the worst floods ever in the southern state, he said that the reason for not taking environmental precautions is (in general) pure greed for unlimited profits. "You've also seen it in Goa." The Judge Shah commission has estimated the illegal profits of Rs 35,000 crore on illegal mines, "he said. "There is also a huge gain in stone mining, while very little is being invested," he added as he talked about the rampant hill in the Western Ghats. "The greed for huge profits has continued unhindered, which has worsened economic inequality in society.
"So now those who make money with these funds are even more effective in getting the government to allow this kind of rampant illegal behavior," Gadgil said. The ecologist said that governments have been lax about implementing environmental standards. "The central government is actually bent backwards to ensure that the National Green Tribunal does not function properly," he said.
Gadgil had conducted extensive research into the Goa area based on data provided by iron ore mining companies in their Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in 2011. He had then said that the mining companies had submitted false information in their EIA reports. "In Goa they had asked me to look at the impact of mines on the environment: each EIA suppressed the fact about the hydrological impact of mining," said the 73-year-old expert. "On"sadas"(Plains) of Goa there are many streams of origin, but they do not mention them in their EIA reports. All kinds of false statements are made in these reports, "he said.
Gadgil was the head of the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP), set up by the government. In its 2011 report, WGEEP recommended that several areas in Kerala that fall under the Western Ghats are classified as ecologically sensitive. The panel had recommended strict kerbs for mining and quarrying and for the use of land for non-forest purposes.