No mining at Tadoba, says forest ministry
Ashwin Aghor / DNA
Friday, December 04, 2009 1:26:00 AM
The proposed coal mining projects by Adani Power Limited and Maharashtra Coal Company Limited near the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve, in Chandrapur district, suffered the final blow when the ministry of environment and forest refused to give the projects a go ahead.
During a meeting held on November 24, the environmental appraisal committee of the ministry rejected the proposals on the grounds that the mines will destroy the rich forest cover in the area and will also affect the wildlife.
Adani Power Limited had applied for environment clearance for mining at Lohara, while the Maharashtra Coal Company Limited had applied for mining near Agarzari. Both the projects are located in ecologically sensitive area within 15km of the reserve.
After detailed discussions, the committee came to the conclusions that at the time of grant of Terms of Reference (ToR), the ministry was not aware of the projects being so close to the tiger corridor. It recommended that the ministry of environment and forest and ministry of coal must work in together to identify go and no-go areas while considering allotment of coal blocks in the country.
The deficit in coal requirement can be met by importing coal or from other coal blocks. The ministry thus decided to withdraw the ToRs granted to these projects.
While granting ToR, it was recommended that a detailed ecological study should be carried out. The study area map delineating the shortest distance of the reserve from the boundary of the mining land should be authenticated by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) along with their comments on the proposed location of the project.
NTCA had informed the ministry that no mining operations should be undertaken in the proposed buffer zone.