New Delhi: During the hearing of a petition filed against Adani coal mines in Hasdeo Aranya, Chhattisgarh before the SC on Wednesday, the state govt observed that there shall be no felling of trees until the next hearing. The SC has scheduled the next hearing in November.
The SC was hearing the petition filed demanding the cancellation of clearance of forests in biodiversity-rich Hasdeo Arand region for Adani mining projects.
The forest department on October 7th started cutting trees in Pendramar-Ghatbarra forest for the second phase of the Parsa East Kente Basan (PEKB) coal mine.
The state government had granted permission for non-forestry use of 841.538 hectare of forest land for the Parsa mine (Surguja and Surajpur districts) and 1,136.328 hectares for PEKB phase-II mine (Surguja), allotted to Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Limited (RRVUNL).
According to officials, the first phase of mining on 762 hectare of land in PEKB block, allotted to RVUNL in 2007, was started in 2013 and has been completed. Locals under the banner of Hasdeo Arand Bachao Sangharsh Samiti have been protesting against allotment of these mines for the last several months.
The forest department in May this year launched a tree cutting exercise to pave the way for the start of the PEKB phase II coal mine, triggering strong opposition from local villagers who forced the authorities to halt their action. Subsequently, the state government in June halted the proceedings over these three proposed coal mine projects.