The Modi government is letting companies get away with illegally clearing forests

Environment ministry records show that at least 34 projects operating in violation of the Forest (Conservation) Act are in the process of receiving clearances.

Eight coal mines in Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra; two wind energy projects in Karnataka; four iron ore mines in Odisha. Although these are different kinds of projects located in different parts of India, they are bound by a few common facts. 

One, they’ve all come up on forest land. Two, they involve clearing of forests without mandatory prior clearance under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980. And three, the violations are being regularized by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, under a controversial legal instrument called the ex-post facto prior clearance. 

Documents reviewed by The Morning Context show …


Nihar Gokhale

Nihar Gokhale led the Chaos coverage at The Morning Context. Nihar wrote on the environment, the economy and resource conflicts in India. He has reported from across the country on everything from displacement, pollution and environmental violations to land regulation, corruption and human rights. He was earlier associate editor at Land Conflict Watch, and his work has appeared in Scroll, The Wire, IndiaSpend, The Caravan and Mongabay India.

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