The cost of Telangana’s drive to plant two billion trees

Dear reader,

In 2015, Telangana's chief minister, K Chandrasekar Rao, launched an ambitious tree plantation programme in the state, named Telanganaku Haritha Haram, or a Green Garland for Telangana. Government data suggests that the programme has seen significant success – in 2019-’21, Telangana achieved the second-highest expansion of its green cover of all the states, behind only Andhra Pradesh.

But these numbers conceal deep-rooted flaws in the programme. Across the state, cultivators who have farmed for land for decades, including members of Scheduled Tribes, have been evicted from those lands, to make way for plantations.

Further, though the program is planting a variety of native trees, there is insufficient data to understand how or whether it will mitigate the impacts of climate change.

For Common Ground, Mridula Chari travelled to Telangana to meet those who have lost their lands, as well as those who claim that Haritha Haram is a boon to the state. You can read her story here

All our previous Common Ground stories are archived here. And you can support more such in-depth and investigative journalism by making a contribution to the Scroll Ground Reporting Fund.

Ajay Krishnan
Senior Editor

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