Chhattisgarh govt puts on hold three coal mine projects allotted to RRVUNL and Adani group in Hasdeo Arand forest

Hasdeo Arand is one of the largest forestlands in central India, covering 1,70,000 hectares. It has 23 coal blocks. Out of which, coal blocks of Parsa East and Kente Basan (PEKB), Parsa and Kete extension are continuously running into controversy the day Adani Company started playing its role as mines development operator.

AVDHESH MALLICKUpdated: Friday, June 10, 2022, 07:59 PM IST
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Chhattisgarh govt puts on hold three coal mine projects allotted to RRVUNL and Adani group in Hasdeo Arand forest | Photo: PTI

After Health Minister of Chhattisgarh TS Singh Deo openly came in support of anti-mining agitators in Hariharpur on June 6, and made a statement that he is ready to face the first bullet to ‘Save Hasdeo Arand’, the district administration of Sarguja also put hold on three mining projects in the Districts Sarguja and Surajpur.

District Collector Sarguja Sanjeev Jha while speaking to the media said, "official procedures for three coal mining projects to be carried out in the second phase of Parsa East and Kente Basan (PEKB), Parsa and Kete extension were put on hold.

The collector also mentioned that recently Health Minister TS Singh Deo, who is also MLA of the constituency expressed his displeasure over the progress made in all these coal mining projects as a result the administration cancelled a public hearing for environmental clearance which was scheduled on June 13 and a meeting related to rehabilitation of PEKB phase will be affected.

A fortnight ago, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was quizzed in Cambridge, the UK over ongoing mining activities in Hasdeo Arand, the role of the Adani group and the coal mining related activity continues in that area despite Rahul Gandhi's promise that if his party forms government in Chhattisgarh, he will not allow mining in the protected area of Hasdeo Arand which is known as lungs of the state.

Rahul indicated that he would raise the issue in the party forum and the result will be reflected on the ground. On June 6, Health Minister TS Singh Deo reached the affected area to meet the mining affected tribal villagers and not only extended his support but also said ready face bullet to Save Hasdeo Arand.

A day later, responding to Singh Deo’s statement, Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel said that not a single branch will be chopped without the consent of the state health minister.

Notably, on the whole issue, the convenor of Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan Alok Shukla responded and said, "why put the projects on hold, it will be better if the mining lease will be cancelled. However, we have not seen any official order in this regard. Therefore, to have more clarity a press conference will be held on June 10."

Meanwhile, Health Minister TS Singh Deo also shared his views on the issue and said, action should be taken according to legal provisions not based on any individual wish or consent. The administration's response is very immature, the Health Minister said.

Hasdeo Arand is one of the largest forestlands in central India, covering 1,70,000 hectares. It has 23 coal blocks. Out of which, coal blocks of Parsa East and Kente Basan (PEKB), Parsa and Kete extension are continuously running into controversy the day Adani Company started playing its role as mines development operator. All three mining projects have been allotted to Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam (RRVUL).

Meanwhile, Tribals in Chhattisgarh’s Hasdeo Arand area are continuously staging protests against any progress made related to coal mining in these coal mines in the region for more than a decade.

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