500 signatures reached
To: National Board for Wildlife chairman PM Modi, CM of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal
Save Dehing Patkai
Put a stop to coal mining in Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve and Dehing Patkai Rainforest
Why is this important?
Referred to as the "Amazon of the East", the pristine forestland of Saleki proposed reserve forest is under threat. On April 24, 2020, the National Board of Wild Life gave the green light for a 98.59 hectares coal mining project by North Eastern Coal Field (NECF) — a unit of Coal India Limited.
This land is part of the Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve, under the current ruling 57.02 hectares of forest land has already been in use by Coal India Limited. NBWL asked that the remaining 41.39 hectares of the unbroken area be used for this project. This area covers most of the Elephant Reserve, with opencast mining (a type of mining technique involving open trenches) being one of the most environmentally harmful techniques.
Opencast mining operations involve huge quantities of soil removal, dumping, and backfilling in excavated areas. Leading to a sort of slope around the mining area, as it is dug into. This slope is not always stable and does often lead to dump failures resulting in the loss of human life. Not to mention the increase in the rate of accumulation of waste dumps. It is easy to overburden the Saleki biodiversity with this mechanical destruction of its land.
Not only this but the “unbroken area” mentioned is on a steep hill slope that is part of the Dehing Patkai Elephant reserve. It is a prime location for a dump failure to potentially occur. Elephant biologist Mr M Ananda Kumar said “Elephant herds have strong fidelity to their range. They move around the same area for many years. Obviously such projects will affect their movement and demographics...conflict is bound to increase if there are human-dominated areas in the neighbourhood.”1
We urge the Chairman of the National Board to reconsider this project. We also urge the Chief Minister of Assam to stop any current and future coal mining project in Saleki and the whole of the Dehing Patkai Elephant reserve. The Dehing Patkai region is already threatened by high polluting industries, such as coal mines, oil refineries, gas drilling, which result in deforestation, loss of biodiversity, adverse climate change. Affecting agriculture as well as the health of people and animals around the area.
Now is the time to ensure that we protect our wildlife fiercely if anything is becoming clear it is that the need of the hour to protect against climate change. Not give in to lobbying groups that will only worsen the living conditions for all living beings around the region.