Record forest land diversion during 11th Plan, says CSE

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on February 24, 2012 Published on February 24, 2012

Green clearances are in no way impeding growth, going by the scale of projects cleared during the 11th Plan, says the Centre of Science and Environment (CSE).

During the 11th Plan (2007-11), 361 projects were cleared in the mining sector alone, of which 186 were greenfield and 175 for expansion, the CSE said at the two-day ‘Anil Agarwal Dialogues' on green clearances here on Friday. The report gathers significance as it comes at a time when the Government has reported a decline in India's forest cover by 367 sq km.

The pace of forestland diversion has doubled in the last five years. Of this, about 40 per cent is for mining and power projects alone, said the study. Among the mining projects that were given green nod in the last five years, 113 were for iron ore, 101 limestone, 29 bauxite, 106 cement and 188 iron and steel.

“Most of these projects have been cleared without any cumulative impact assessment,” said Ms Sugandh Gupta of CSE. She said the maximum number of mining projects was cleared in Rajasthan, followed by Orissa and Goa. In fact, Rajasthan and Orissa, account for 50 per cent of the total mining projects cleared.

”It is evident that environment clearance is no impediment to growth, as is being projected by certain quarters. However, what is being impeded is environment along with health, land, forest and water security,” said the study.

Environmentalist, Mr S Hiremath, said the Government should consider cumulative assessment impact of projects before granting clearances and stressed on the need for continuing the process of dialogue with opponents and the Government.

About 100 NGOs, Government officials and experts are participating in the dialogue.

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Published on February 24, 2012
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