Kaas Plateau, A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Under Threat Due To Illegal Constructions; Petition Filed In NGT Pune To Save Biodiversity

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Satara, 1st April 2023: Kaas Plateau, a popular tourist spot located to the west of Satara, is facing a threat to its environment due to increased illegal encroachments in the area. To prevent the destruction of the biodiversity and the environment in the Kaas Plateau area, a petition has been filed in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in Pune, according to information shared by Adv Asim Sarode in a press conference on Saturday.

Present at the conference were petitioner Sujit Ambekar, RTI Activist Sushant More, and Adv Shreya Awle. Adv Sarode stated that Kaas Plateau is home to 850 different species of flowers, with 39 of them being rare species, and more than 65,000 species of birds, animals, and insects.

In 2012, this plateau was included in the protected list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites due to the presence of rare species. However, illegal constructions have been taking place over the last few years, approximately 15 km from Yavateshwar to Kaas Plateau. These constructions include farmhouses, guest houses, and hotels, among others. Since these constructions have been undertaken without permission from the Environment Department, the matter was raised with the Collector of Satara and the Department of Environment and Climate Change, among others.

The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) issued notices regarding this matter, but no action has been taken. This puts the biodiversity of the Kaas plateau and the environment at risk. The petition seeks the removal of encroachments and demands a fine for the same.

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