Coal Mining Casts Shadow Over Assam’s Rich Biodiversity -Ayaskant Das

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published Published on Jul 18, 2020   modified Modified on Jul 19, 2020

-Newsclick.in

The NBWL has recently granted clearance to North Eastern Coalfields, a subsidiary of Coal India Limited, for open cast mining over an area of 98.59 hectares in the Saleki area of the rainforests.

New Delhi: The chorus for banning all mining activities within the rainforests of Assam has been rising after the National Board of Wild Life (NBWL) recently granted clearance to coal mining in the region, allegedly overlooking ecological concerns.

Several civil society members and non-governmental organisation (NGOs) have demanded a total ban to any form of coal mining in the region, as they apprehend large-scale adverse impacts to environment and wildlife.

In April, NBWL gave clearance to North Eastern Coalfields (NEC), a subsidiary of Coal India Limited, for open cast mining over a lease area of 98.59 hectares in the Saleki area of the rainforests. The clearance was granted despite allegations that NEC had continued with illegal mining in the area even after the expiry of its 30-year lease period in 2003, without obtaining mandatory forest clearances from the government.

The massive rainforests of Assam are known to contain a very rich biodiversity of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, butterflies, fish and orchids, as per several studies. Saleki, a ‘proposed reserved forest’, falls within that particular area of these rainforests which had been notified by the Central government in April 2003 as the Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve.

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Newsclick.in, 18 July, 2020, https://www.newsclick.in/Assam-Coal-Mining-Impact-Rainforest-Biodiversity-Environment-Ministry?fbclid=IwAR1S7FnqcI-vDUVEy7_1fJCKrdV_LAaFfhY4NkFnE5yzOmPishPPuFVfVP8


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