Baghel Slams Remarks on Hasdeo Project

Story Highlights
  • Baghel assures protection of rights of tribal and non tribals to be relocated.
  • The CG govt approved coal mining in Hasdeo forests.
  • The move by the state admin follows the shortage of coal supplies nationally.

Ambikapur: CM Baghel responding to the questions raised on the expansion of the mining land in Hasdeo slammed them assertively. The response came a day after the CG Administration approved for felling of trees and carrying out coal mining activity in Hasdeo forest. He stressed that the rights of the tribes would be protected. Additionally, he promised that the benefits of the non-tribal community would also be restored.

The approval has brought the decade of resistance against mining activity, displacement, and deforestation to a defeat; however, the protesters are keeping their struggle alive. Back in 2011, the gram sabha (village assembly) of Ghatbarra village in the Hasdeo Arand forests passed a resolution opposing coal mining in the forests. Over ten years later, villagers in the area continue to stage agitation.

The Hasdeo Arand Coalfield, in Sarguja which is spread over an area of 1,879.6 square kilometres, contains 23 coal blocks. The approval will lead to the displacement of over 700 people and threaten the freedom and livelihoods of tribal communities in the area while resulting in chopping off some 20,000 trees. Running through Hasdeo and its adjacent villages is the Hasdeo River – the lifeline of this under-attack forest region.

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