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Citizens, environmentalists release model manifesto for Western Ghats

NEW DELHI: A citizens group has released a manifesto for the Western Ghats on Wednesday that details a set of demands to protect the ecologically fragile landscape and empowering gram panchayats. 

The 'Save Western Ghat Movement' had released its first manifesto in 2009 and that had led to the formation of an MPs Forum on Western Ghats. The current manifesto is meant for the candidates in 32 parliamentary constituencies coming under Western Ghats region from Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. 

The highlights of the manifesto include protecting the Western Ghats as 'water towers of South India,' stop mining in the Ghats, empowering gram panchayats, public meetings on both the Kasturirangan and Madhav Gadgil reports on the Ghats, halt river diversion and dams, sustainable, non-pesticide agriculture and horticulture, GM crops be banned in the Ghats and promote "sustainable" tourism. 

The manifesto has been prepared by 150 NGOs and over 9,000 people from the region. 

The Times of India (02-04-2014)