Deforestation Has Led India Lost Forest Land As Big As The Size Of Kolkata In Past 3 Years

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Published by Shifa Naz on 10 Jan 2019

Undoubtedly India is reaching higher and higher in terms of development in every field, majorly in the sector of infrastructure, but every coin has two sides, in the similar way the debate between development and deforestation has no better way to answer.

In the past 3-4 years, a whopping amount of 20,000 hectares of forest land which is approximately equal to the size of Kolkata has been utilized for the major industrial purpose like thermal power plants, dams, road, railways and irrigation, and dams project.

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One of the environment ministry officials said, “Many proposals are in different stages of approval. Contrary to popular belief, the ministry is very sensitive to giving clearance for diverting forests for non-forestry purposes.”

As per the data, given in the Parliament by the Government, altogether 20,314.12 hectares of the forest land turned out in industries and infrastructure.

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The Minister of State in the MoEFCC Mahesh Sharma responded to a query in the Parliament in  December, he stated, “Proposals for diversion of forest land for non-forestry purposes under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 are received in the ministry from the concerned states and UTs (union territories). The proposals are examined in the ministry (MoEFCC) and after due diligence, the proposals are either approved or rejected within the framework of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 and its supporting rules and guidelines.”

Also, the senior environment lawyer in the Supreme Court, Sanjay Upadhyay said, “Monitoring of conditions on basis of which forest land is diverted is an important factor but it is poorly done. There are enough cases to indicate that India’s environment ministry does not have the adequate wherewithal to monitor the land it diverts and the numerous conditions they put.”

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Further, he added, “The mandate of the ministry is to be the conscience keeper for every piece of forest land and how it is to be protected. Somehow, we have got lost in the money that forest diversion brings! Forest and forest land are actually irreplaceable, let’s explore all alternatives before losing even an inch.”

Safeguarding our natural environment is a must and many awareness schemes have been introduced by the Government.

 

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