Bhopal: NGT puts hold on mining activities in Buxawaha forest

BHOPAL: The National Green Tribunal has asked the state government to ensure no cutting of trees in Buxawaha forest without clearance from the forest department.

The NGT, on Thursday, put on hold all the mining activities in the Buxawaha forest till next orders. The mining company was given the dig open mines in forest land to extract diamonds. The Green Tribunal has asked the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, to ensure that there should not be any cutting of trees without Forest Clearance in Buxawaha forest.

The NGT has ordered the state government to file its reply within the four weeks time and the next hearing of the case has been listed for August 27,2021. The case was filed in the NGT against the grant of mining lease of over 364 hectare in Buxawaha protected forest area, Sogoriya Village, Buxawaha Tahsil, Chhatrarpur District, to Essels Mining Industries Limited.

The state government issued the lease letter to the mining company on December 19, 2019. Since then the people of Bundelkhand and environmentalists were opposing the government decision.
The questions were raised over the deforestation in 382 hectares of Protected Forest. The environmentalists argues that mining in the forest area would lead to felling of approx 4 lakh trees, besides it would intersect ground water and also cause scarcity of water.

Deforestation will cause adverse impact particularly to avifauna, ecosystem of this area will be disturbed and Ecological balance will be lost, the activists had said. While granting the permission to the mining company many provisions made for the forest land were neglected. Expert committee as required under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, Section 2 was not constituted within a month, although permission was granted much before.

Advisory committee as required under Section 3 of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 has not been constituted. As the mining would intersect ground water and thus necessary permission has to be obtained from Central Ground Water Authority for working below ground water table. But, this has not been done. Working plan for survival of wild life particularly for Avifauna whose nesting trees are to be cleared has not been prepared. Comprehensive Impact Assessment of this project has not been done.

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