Mumbai: The Union Coal Ministry, after taking a serious note of strong opposition from the Maharashtra Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray, has withdrawn the Bander mine in Chandrapur district from the list of coal blocks that were to be auctioned.
As reported by the Free Press Journal on June 23, Aaditya had raised strong objections, saying that the development of Bander coal block,which is situated near the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve, will have an adverse impact on the local population, as also on the tiger reserve. Aaditya had further argued that over 1200 hectares of rich forest land will have to be diverted, if commercial mining is allowed.
Incidentally, Bander falls on the route used by tigers to disperse from Tadoba to Bor Reserve in Wardha district and Melghat Reserve in Amravati district.
This is the second major achievement for Aaditya after the National Highway Authority of India agreed to change the alignment of a highway in Sangli district to save a 400-year-old Banyan tree. Aaditya had sought the Union Minister Nitin Gadkari's intervention for the same.
In the withdrawal notice, the coal ministry said, ''Bidders may kindly note that the Bander coal mine is now part of the Tadoba Tiger Reserve,'' which as per a notification is now an eco sensitive zone.
Aaditya, in a tweet, said, ''This is welcome news. The Coal Ministry has issued a notification withdrawing Bander coal mine from the auction list of 41 coal blocks. Happy to note that the eco sensitive region of Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve was dropped from the list.''