Threat to the environment? Rubber plantations in Northeast eat into forests

Rubber plantations, which have been vigorously promoted in north-east India in the name of increasing forest cover and rehabilitation of tribespeople, have got environmentalists worried. These plantations are not only eating into the land occupied by the region’s native forests, they could also disturb the ground water reserve and soil quality, showed a recent study led by Kasturi Chakraborty, scientist at the North Eastern Space Applications Centre in Shillong. North-east India accounts for a fourth of India’s forest cover.