10,000 signatures reached
To: Dr Harsh Vardhan Union Minister of Ministry of Environment forest and Climate Change
Save 1,70,000 Hectare of Forests in Hasdeo
Do not allow mining in 170,000 hectares of forest in Chhattisgarh
Why is this important?
The Union environment ministry has given environmental clearance for open cast coal mining in Parsa in Chhattisgarh’s dense Hasdeo Arand forests span more than 1,70,000 hectares, total forest land which would be diverted for the various coal mines. This is one of the very few pristine natural forests in the country which cannot be replicated through plantation forestation. The coalfield covers a total area of 1878 sq km. of which 1502 sq km. has forest cover. Around 80% of this is covered by good quality forest (approximately 1176 sq km has a canopy cover of over 40% while an additional
116 sq km has a canopy cover of over 70%)
Parsa Open Cast Mine, a unit of The Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd(RVUNL) under Adani group is going forward to clear this dense forest for purpose of coal mining impacting several villages and wiping out the densest forests in Central India.
In 2009, the entire area was termed as a “No-Go Area” or mining because of its rich forest cover(1) by Ministry of Environment and Forest(MOEF). The current order is in direct violation of the MOEF’s own report to cut through these dense forests. This decision could have far-reaching consequences for forest cover conservation in India. The repercussions of these decisions are being borne by the tribal and non-tribal people residing in and around the Hasdeo Arand. Since January 2018, there have been several incidents of human-elephant conflict in the region, which has resulted in both death and the destruction of property. If these proposals are granted, the conflict will only increase(1).
Minutes of the forest advisory committee’s meeting highlighted that a section of the 841 hectares to be diverted for the mine lies in very dense forest(1). There is no mention whether the consent from gram sabhas was taken for the project(3) or on the impact to the communities in the area.
RVUNL mentioned they do not have forest clearance(3). Apart from pending legal issues and procedural lapses, the grant of approval completely goes against the precautionary principle that is the need of the hour.
Initiating mining will fragment one of the last remaining contiguous forest patches in central India, violate forest rights and increase human-wildlife conflict.
Let us stop the government from destroying the Lungs of Central India.