Hidden in plain sight, the Patanjali business empire is functioning as a dubious real-estate agency buying and selling forested lands in the fragile Aravalli mountain range through a web of shell companies.
This investigative series exposes how the Modi government favoured commercial interests over forest conservation and indigenous rights while abandoning the long-delayed National Forest Policy. Just after taking office, it aimed to open forests for private plantations, culminating in the 2023 amendments to the Forest (Conservation) Act. These changes prioritize profit over biodiversity, granting private businesses access to India's forests. The amendment limits protection to recognized forests, endangering large swathes of potential unofficial forestland. These investigations reveal a troubling pattern of forest exploitation, corporate interests, and indigenous rights neglect.
Vedanta’s pig iron industry in Goa got clearance to expand despite being caught emitting dangerous substance for more than a decade. It went to great lengths to dodge environmental laws and avoid paying for pollution mitigation efforts.
Former J&K BJP legislator Vikram Randhawa accused BJP's Union minister Jitendra Singh of profiting from corruption in Jammu's mining department after being being slapped with Rs 96 lakh penalty for illegal river mining. The accusations were withdrawn and guns holstered. But penalty documents and inquiry committee reports reveal how Jammu's mining department abandoned penalties worth Rs 6.68 crore on stone crushers operating illegally around Tawi and how miners had it easy.
The Niti Aayog wants to review economic impacts of Supreme Court rulings on environmental-law violations. Its officials are supposedly not investigating ‘judicial activism’. Files we obtained under RTI show that is indeed what they are doing.