Guwahati: The Congress, All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) and environmental activist Jadav Payeng on Wednesday said coal mining inside Dehing Patkai forest will harm its ecological balance and warned of strong protests if any such move is initiated. The Coal India Limited (CIL), which has allegedly been carrying out mining activity inside the forest for 16 years since 2003, may get an official licence to resume it if the PSU major fulfils a set of 28 conditions.
People have been demanding on social media a ban on mining inside the Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve, which is spread over Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts. An online petition in this regard has already attracted over 52,000 signatures.
“Coal mining should be stopped to protect our climate and environment. I appeal to the central and state governments to ban mining inside Dehing Patkai,” environmental activist Jadav Payeng, who is known as the ‘Forest Man of India’, said. Coal mining inside the Dehing Patkai will have an adverse impact on the ecological balance of the area, Payeng added.
His contention was backed by Congress MP from Assam, Pradyut Bordoloi. “Since this BJP government came to power in Assam in 2016, illegal coal mining increased manifold and is patronised by the ruling politicians. Hundreds of coal-laden trucks come out of Dehing Patkai and many other areas of Upper Assam,” he said.
KMSS president Raju Bora said the organisation and people of the state will do everything possible to protect the “second Amazon” of the world.
“If we destroy Dehing Patkai, the entire North East will suffer. After the lockdown is over, we will launch an aggressive campaign against coal mining inside the forest,” he added. (PTI)
Source: The Shillong Times