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NO-GO forests approved for mining in 2020

by Sohan Hatangadi

India has only 21.53% of forest cover now. Our target for forest cover is a minimum of 33%. This is the bare minimum for managing our environment and mitigating the runaway effects of greenhouse gases. A figure of 40% would be desirable. Then we should remember that these forests are home to scores of forest dwellers. They have been custodians of the forests for thousands of years. It has flourished under their stewardship. They live off the forest produce, raise families,rejoice in their ancient cultural practices and traditions and have their homes there. Our Min of Environment, Forests and Climate Change under the present government has been compromising one established policy after another. It appears that they are bent on destroying our environment rather than safeguarding it. Possibly policy makers are backed by the powerful mining industry. They dont mind if we win our forests and coasts. They can simply send their grand kids abroad and simply migrate to a green area in Europe. When we stop thinking along political lines and think from the natural and public standpoint we will all repent it. It will be too late to tum the clock back then. We as citizens are sidelined and with the overpowering dominance of this single party. It is a challenge to push for rational environmental policies. At this time we must at least be aware of what is happening. Perhaps a time will come when we will succeed in a policy change.

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