According to Forest Survey of Indias recent report, the total forest cover of our country is decreasing. This has far-reaching consequences. The decrease is mainly attributable to deforestation, increase in human population, industrialisation, alongside the clearance of natural forests for plantations to provide for biofuel, pulp for paper mills, etc. A major, yet unrecognised, reason for the shrinkage of the forest cover is the ongoing illegal or reckless mining. If such practices are checked, we can save our forests. Moreover, the tribal population that largely lives in our forests must be taken on board and made partners in the campaign for afforestation. The government must launch a massive afforestation programme to convert Indias wastelands into forests.
Hansraj Bhat, Mumbai