En­vi­ron­ment Hur­dles may Hit Ma­han’s Min­ing Plans

The Economic Times - - Economy - MEGHA MANDAVIA

The Mad­hya Pradesh govern­ment as­sured the Na­tional Green Tri­bunal (NGT) on Mon­day that it will not cut a sin­gle tree for the Ma­han Coal project till Oc­to­ber this year, cit­ing mon­soons, sig­nalling a fur­ther de­lay in min­ing coal for the .` 6,400-crore joint ven­ture. Ma­han Coal is an equal joint ven­ture be­tween Es­sar Power and Aditya Birla Group flag­ship Hin­dalco In­dus­tries. The coal mined will fuel power plants set up by Es­sar and Hin­dalco separately for 14 years. About five lakh trees on 967 hectares of for­est land will be cut over a decade. The District For­est Of­fi­cer from the state told NGT on Mon­day that the process of de­mar­ca­tion and enu­mer­a­tion of the trees was go­ing on cur­rently and the first phase of de­for­esta­tion on about 297 hectares of land will be­gin only in Oc­to­ber once the mon­soons were over. “As a law abid­ing cor­po­rate cit­i­zen, we are op­ti­mistic that we will cre­ate a bench­mark in sus­tain­able and in­clu­sive de­vel­op­ment by tak- ing care of en­vi­ron­ment while start­ing the mine at the ear­li­est,” said Ra­makant Tiwari, CEO, Ma­han Coal. Tiwari was ear­lier op­ti­mistic to start min­ing coal in the next three months. The en­vi­ron­ment min­istry granted the ‘Stage II’ clear­ance to the project in Fe­bru­ary af­ter Veerappa Moily took over the min­istry. Ma­han Sang­harsh Samiti, the lo­cal body formed with the help of en­vi­ron­men­tal cam­paign group Green­peace, has protested against de­for­esta­tion, claim­ing de­struc­tion of liveli­hoods of 50,000 trib­als, de­pen­dent on the for­est. Ma­han Sang­harsh Samiti have chal­lenged the clear­ance in NGT, say­ing the green nod to the project is hasty and full of ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties. Green­peace In­dia viewed to­day's as­sur­ance as a tem­po­rary re­lief. “This is a tem­po­rary respite for us. We are de­ter­mined to save our forests and will con­tinue to op­pose any min­ing re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties in our for­est,” says Har­dayal Singh of Ma­han Sang­harsh Samiti and a pe­ti­tioner in the case. The next hear­ing in the case will take place on July 23. Green­peace has also al­leged forgery of sig­na­tures dur­ing that the manda­tory Gram Sabha res­o­lu­tion, where ap­proval of vil­lagers was taken. The govern­ment may seek ap­proval from vil­lagers again next month, Bloomberg re­ported last week, quot­ing re­gion’s chief ad­min­is­tra­tor M Sel­ven­dran.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.