Cherukuri Raghavendra Babu committee to weed out invasive plant species from Western Ghats

The Madras High Court has expressed serious concern over the exotic invasive species that have stifled the growth of the native shola forests and grasslands on the Western Ghats. It observed that such species are the second largest cause of biodiversity loss in the world and impose high costs to agriculture, forestry, and aquatic ecosystems. Hence, for this burning issue, the court has constituted an expert committee to suggest ways and means to remove the alien plants species and rehabilitate the forests. Here, a division bench of justices M M Sundaresh and N Sathish passed the interim order on a batch of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petitions seeking to restrain the Tamil Nadu government from cultivating eucalyptus trees in Western Ghats for commercial purpose. It has also directed the committee to file a report on the ways to weed out such species within two months. The committee will be headed by Cherukuri Raghavendra Babu, the chairman of the expert committee on invasive species in Chennai National Biodiversity Authority.