Cen­tre on land-di­vert­ing spree

Down to Earth - - THE FORTNIGHT -

THE UNION Min­istry of En­vi­ron­ment, For­est & Cli­mate Change has been on a land di­ver­sion spree, rec­om­mend­ing a mas­sive 91,798 hectare area to be diverted in the last eight months. This has been re­vealed by a re­view of the min­utes of the For­est Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee (FAC) by mem­bers of a Delhi-based non-profit—the En­vi­ron­ment Im­pact As­sess­ment Re­source and Re­sponse Cen­tre. The re­view re­vealed that in May this year, 61,278 hectares was rec­om­mended to be cleared in one meet­ing alone, while in Au­gust, three meet­ings were held to clear projects in­volv­ing an area of 15,027 hectares. Dur­ing the pe­riod, FAC con­sid­ered 134 pro­pos­als, out of which it re­jected just two. Seventy projects were rec­om­mended for di­ver­sion, while the rest were de­ferred for want of more in­for­ma­tion. The ma­jor pro­pos­als cleared in­cluded the con­tro­ver­sial Ken-Betwa river link­ing project which had a di­ver­sion of 6,017 hectares of for­est land in favour of Na­tional Wa­ter Devel­op­ment Agency, in Ch­hat­tarpur near Panna and Tikam­garh in Mad­hya Pradesh. Con­ser­va­tion­ists say the project is go­ing to cause ir­repara­ble da­m­age and harm to the Panna Tiger Re­serve. The FAC's de­ci­sions raise se­ri­ous con­cerns for the en­vi­ron­ment at a time when forested lands are be­ing con­sid­ered valu­able car­bon sinks.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.