A U-turn on an elephant reserve, a bonanza for coal miners

The Chhattisgarh CM’s decision to reduce the Lemru reserve could see the Adani and Aditya Birla groups start mining operations without the hassle of wildlife clearances.

Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel recently did a U-turn on the size of a proposed elephant reserve. He sought to shrink the upcoming Lemru Elephant Reserve to just a tenth of its planned size, shows correspondence of the state forest department.

On the face of it, his decision would appear to have something to do with elephants, except for the tiny detail that if the state acts upon the chief minister’s command, four coal blocks that fall within the originally proposed larger area of the reserve will be left out. These are the Kente Extension, Parsa and Gidhmuri Paturia coal …


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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