The National Board for Wildlife (NBWL), in April, approved a coal-mining project in the Saleki reserve forest, which is a part of the Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve. And now people are protesting against the same claiming that it will destroy what they call the Amazon of the east.
The announcement was made via video conference, chaired by Prakash Javedkar, the Chairman of NBWL and the Minister of Forest, Environment and Climate Change of India.
The environmentalists and many Universities, including Guwahati University, have come forward to protest against the same.
“The protestors are urging the Prime Minister of India, the Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change of India, the Chief Minister of Assam and the NBWL to stop any current and future coal mining project in Saleki and the whole of Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve, stating that legal and illegal coal extraction is having and will have catastrophic consequences for the whole ecosystem of the region,” reports Sentinel Assam.
The reports claim that the Dehing Patkai region is already facing threat from coal mines, oil refineries and gas drilling and a coal mining project will add to its woes.
“Though the NBWL has allowed the coal mining project on April 7, 2020, but, illegal mining of coal has been going by the coal mafias in the forest for long affecting the biodiversity of this virgin forestland,” environmental activists reportedly allege.
The Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve is the largest low-lying rainforest in India. It is home to species including 292 bird species, flying fox, barking deer, stump-tailed macaque, capped langur, Indian leopard, Asian elephant, and various other animal species.