September 21, 2021 Read More →

Land for green energy projects could become a challenge for India

Hindu Business Line:

Will the focus on renewable energy trigger the next land grab? As India is seized by the urgency to switch from fossil fuel to clean energy, it will in all certainty trigger a race to establish mega green power plants. This in turn would necessitate the need for substantial acreage to locate large spreads of solar panels. And in the rush to find a place in the sun, the alternative power generating companies may go into land acquisition mode that could short-change landowners and farmers on the margins of cities and urban clusters and even eat into agricultural or forested land.

Unless the process is regulated and monitored, in India the situation could well be a throwback to 1970s Mumbai when unscrupulous realtors with the muscle of the mafia, arm-twisted simple folk to give up their properties at throwaway prices. It was on such land that the tall apartment blocks that dominate the suburban skyline of the city came up. Ditto has been the experience in other towns and cities where farmlands have been turned into housing jungles.

[Preeti Mehra] 

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