In a meeting held on August 2021, the Standing Committee of the National Board for Wildlife, chaired by the Union environment minister, Bhupender Yadav, took a decision to levy 2 per cent of the proportionate cost of projects falling inside protected areas and eco-sensitive zones on user agencies, thereby legitimizing infrastructure and development inside a national park or wildlife sanctuary. You could, for instance, have a six-lane highway tear through, say, Ranthambore National Park as long as you coughed up ‘compensation’ for the fact that a pristine forest would be destroyed and fragmented and wild animals — from tigers to bears to snakes — killed by speeding vehicles.