ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Civil Liberties and People

Potentially Disastrous THE reported decision of the Maharashtra government to utilise 2500 hectares of forest land in Dhule district for rehabilitating the oustees of the Narmada Project will be disastrous from the environmental point of view. If the application made by the Maha- rashtra government to utilise forest land for rehabilitation is approved by the ministry of environment and forests, it will establish a very harmful precedent, and it will be almost impossible to reject future demands made by other state governments for the same purpose. Since the total land requirement for rehabilitating the Narmada oustees amounts to more than 1,00,000 hectares, it would result in the loss of this very large area of irreplaceable natural forests, in addition to the 40,000 hec- tares of forest land that are likely to be actually submerged by the two dams.

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