Maharashtra: Less blooms on Kaas plateau worries authorities, visitors; Free Press Journal

India – Western Ghats

Once a bed of colourful flora, the famous Kaas plateau in Maharashtra is now witnessing less blooms, worrying officials, tourists and nature lovers alike. The plateau, recognised by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee as a heritage site in 2012, is home to around 350 flowering plants, including some rare and endemic species.

With the flowering already going down, a couple of fire incidents last month in the area, causing a damage to the flora at the site in Satara district, has now set off alarm bells for the administration. The state government has thus decided to take up a slew of measures, like better guarding of the place and inviting researchers to study why this picturesque site in the Western Ghats is losing its blooms, which were a big tourist attraction. According to forest officials, human negligence, possibly lit cigarettes, could have caused the twin fires that gutted a portion of the world-famous plateau recently.

“The forest department, along with a joint management committee of forest officials and local villagers-turned-volunteers, has now decided to take certain safety measures to avoid incidents which could endanger the flora of the Kaas plateau,” the range forest officer, Sachin Dombale, said.

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