Tree felling begins for coal mines in Hasdeo; protests erupt | Raipur News – Times of India

Tree felling begins for coal mines in Hasdeo; protests erupt | Raipur News - Times of India

Raipur: Felling of trees in Parsa East and Kanta Basan (PEKB) Extension Coal mines I Hasdev The forest area of ‚Äč‚Äčnorth Chhattisgarh came under police protection on Thursday, sparking protests by tribals and activists.
The protesters alleged that the police had abducted some workers and villagers. Surguja SP Sunil Sharma denied that anyone had been arrested, but said “outsiders” were not being allowed inside.
Opposition leader Charindas Mahant said in the assembly that permission has been given to cut trees in Hasdev. He alleged that more than 30,000 trees have already been cut and 2.5 lakh more will be cut in the coming days. “Is it true that today tribal people have been arrested and allowed to mine 14 hectares of forest land?” He questioned that the newly formed government was neglecting the poor and giving the land, forest, land of the adivasis to the industrialists.
Ministry of Coal has allotted PEKB coal mine to Rajasthan State Power Generation Corporation Limited. The Ministry of Environment and Forests has given permission to the power company for coal mining in the final phase. Of the 134.7 hectares of forest land earmarked for coal mining, more than 91.1 hectares of land is to be handed over to a Rajasthan-based company for mining.
Forest department and Surguja district administration jointly decided to start felling of trees for coal mine expansion.
Rajasthan is heavily dependent on thermal power and the PEKB dispute created tension between the then Congress-ruled states. Protests erupted last year, and mining operations were suspended in June by the previous Congress government. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also expressed displeasure over the expansion of coal mining operations in Chhattisgarh.
Activists allege that trees have been felled in the forest to clear the mining project.
Farmer activist Rakesh Tiket has said that the tribals are fighting to save their Jal, Jungle, Jamin and condemned the alleged arrests. “Is this the first act of the tribal chief minister to take action against the protesting farmers and labourers? Our fight to save Hasdev forest will continue. We will go to the forest and stage a massive protest,” Tiket said. alleged in a video statement. That the government wants to favor the industrialists.
There were reports that Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan (CBA) convenor Alok Shukla and other activists were turned away at the border of Surguja district while they were on their way to Hasdev.
Surguja SP Sunil Sharma told TOI, “No arrests have been made since there were protests at the mining site in March-April last year and an FIR was registered against a few people for arson and rioting. The police contacted the villagers on Thursday morning and advised them not to disturb the law and order, they were asked to desist from violence, none of them were picked up. Proceeding peacefully without incident.”
He said that no outsider is being allowed so the situation is under control. CBA workers protested against the government in Bilaspur. Shukla said, “Young friends of Hasdev Aranya Bachao Sanghrish Samiti, including Ghatbra Janandan Porte Sarpanch Ram Lal Karim and Thakur Ram, were picked up by the police. We strongly condemn this and demand a stop to deforestation.”
The Hasdeo river catchment and Manimata Bingu Dam irrigate 4 lakh hectares of land and the Wildlife Institute of India has filed a report that coal mining in Hasdeo will threaten the river and the dam, he added. : “The human-elephant conflict will escalate to such an extent that it can never be overcome again.”
Chhattisgarh Kisan Sabha’s Sanjay Parte also condemned the ‘arrest’ of protesters and villagers and said, “The Chhattisgarh Assembly unanimously passed an unofficial resolution on July 24 last year to ban Hasdev Arnia from mining. To be kept clean. The whole area comes under it. Fifth schedule and no gram sabha has allowed mining and coal mining. It is violation of forest rights, PESA act and land acquisition law. “

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