PUNE: It is the official state animal, but no one knows how many Indian giant squirrels there are in Maharashtra.

Senior ecologist Madhav Gadgil who led a panel to map the eco-sensitivity of the western ghats has charged the state and central governments of attempting to bury his findings.

The Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP) has slammed the Maharashtra government for clearing the Andhra Lake Wind Power Project promoted by Enercon (India) Limited.

Situated near the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary here, the 113 MW wind energy project has caused “substantial forest destruction and triggered large scale soil erosion,” according to the panel.

Punaji Thubal, a farmer in Kharpud village, about 80 km from Pune, points at a mass of gravel that has entered his paddy field.

Pune In what it claims to be a first-of-its-kind study on Pune