The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) today extended the moratorium on projects in Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts of Maharashtra till March this year. This is the third extension of the moratorium on industries in the region.
In an office memorandum, Lalit Kapur, a director at the ministry, said, “The ministry has received the report of the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP) and it is under consideration. The moratorium for consideration of projects from Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri districts, Maharashtra, is extended up to March 31, 2013.”
In 2010, the ministry, under then environment minister Jairam Ramesh, had imposed a moratorium till December 31, 2010, after locals complained about clearing power projects in these districts with a capacity of about 33,000 Mw. Residents in these regions had also protested against other projects in the region such as ports and ore mining. The ministry had referred the matter to WGEEP. The panel was asked to suggest an appropriate course of developing mining, power production and polluting industries in Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg.