Chhattisgarh

Forest clearance given to Parsa coal block bypassing environmental concerns, constitutional rights of tribals

Forest clearance given to Parsa coal block bypassing environmental concerns, constitutional rights of tribals

Bhupesh government should cancel the forest approval without checking the fake Gram Sabha proposal – Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan

Raipur:Protest demonstration and 300-km foot-march by tribals of Surguja and Korba to save Hasdeo forest area from mining activities and villages situated here from being displaced went in vain as Union Forest and Environment Ministry on October 21, 2021 gave a go ahead to mining in the forest area. The approval has been granted for second stage of the project. The mine is allocated to Rajasthan State Power Generation Corporation Ltd while the MDO (Mine Developer and Operator) has been assigned to Adani Enterprises.

Opposing the approval, Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan stated that without any investigation, government has granted approval under the pressure of Adani. The union stated that the project
will lead to complete displacement of two villages in the area while partial displacement of three villages. About one lakh trees on 841 hectares of land will be cut down in the process.

 


Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan convener Alok Shukla said that the land diversion for the Parsa mine is based on fake Gram Sabha documents. They demand unbiased investigation and action in this case. They added that residents of the Hasdeo area will continue agitation for the same.



Shukla said that without acknowledging the objections of the tribal population, the project has been approved due to pressure by Adani. This Forest Clearance must be nullified with immediate effect and action should be taken against the guilty for presenting fake documents.



Shukla said that stage one of the project was approved by the Central Ministry of Environment and Forest, on 13 February 2019. At that time, the villagers had raised objections to this project. As per the provisions of the Forest Rights Act 2006, the written approval of Gram Sabha is mandatory for forest right approval. The forest tribals stated that many of their claims
regarding forest rights are pending. They had also submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister and Governor.


However, stage one was approved by keeping Fifth Notification and PESA Act at bay. Without considering the complaints of people, Forest and Environment Ministry granted approval to the project. Now, the approval of the second stage has been granted in a similar manner. The process of forest land diversion of parsa mine is based on fake Gram Sabha documents which should be investigated, Shukla said. There has been a continuous movement of Hasdeo people demanding action since 2018, demanding cancellation of fake Gram Sabha documents and action against the guilty officials. The villagers of the Hasdeo forest area such as village Fattepur staged a sit-in for 73 days for the protection of the forest. To date, no action has been taken by the Collector on those complaints and no FIR has been registered despite the written complaint.