Why railways’ coal track through Western Ghats hit SC hurdle

The absence of clarity on the objectives coupled with a failure to conduct proper environmental assessments contributed to derailing the project, set to cut through a biodiversity hotspot.

It is rare in these times for an environmental movement to score a victory. And that too, thanks to an order of the Supreme Court. 

On 9 May, the court revoked a wildlife clearance issued by the National Board for Wildlife for an Indian Railways project involving the laying of a 25-km railway track through the Western Ghats, along the Karnataka-Goa border. The track was principally meant to help move imported coal from Goa to Karnataka. The court’s verdict means the project can no longer go ahead, unless it receives a fresh clearance. 

The railways should have seen this coming. …


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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