The map of India’s green conflict zones clearly shows development pitted against the environment. These hotspots include hydroelectric projects, mining projects, factories and infrastructure development as the intensifying search for resources consistently squares off against supporters of the environmental cause. Critically, most of India’s recoverable mineral reserves are in heavily forested land, which is located in the poorest, most backward districts. The battle then takes on political overtones as in the swathe of land encompassing the Maoist insurgency-affected states of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, manifesting itself as a constant struggle involving land for resources, subsistence livelihoods and environmental conservation. The list of long-running conflicts such as the ones over the Narmada dam, uranium mining in the North-East, mining in Kudremukh or the Tadoba tiger reserve are set to get worse as the clash intensifies for what lies beneath.
Also See Conflict Zones (Graphic)
Graphics by Ahmed Raza Khan / Mint