Thiruvananthapuram: The report released by the expert committee, constituted by the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) to formulate parameters for inviolate areas around forests, wetlands, catchment areas and perennial rivers, overlooks areas that may have lesser bio-diversity but still possess large ecological significance.

Apart from obvious damaging consequences for already fragile environments, this lacuna could become a loophole to sanction mining and other commercial activities around these areas. Incidentally, the expert committee was constituted in September 2011 to identify areas where mining and other commercial activities would be completely banned.