The Assam government claimed today that no “final approval” has been given to Coal India Limited for extraction of coal from the areas around the Dehing Patkai tropical rain forest in Upper Assam, famously known as the Amazon of the East.
This claim of the state government comes a day after the Gauhati High Court admitted a PIL challenging the National Board of Wildlife’s (NBWL) approval for coal mining in an elephant reserve near the Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary. For the past month, Assam has witnessed a massive online campaign against the recent decision by the NBWL to grant ‘conditional’ approval to coal mining in the area.
Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Dibrugarh and Tinsukia Districts of Assam. It is one of the major Elephant Reserves of NorthEast India. Recently, The National Board for Wildlife, or NBWL, permitted Coal India Limited to carry out extraction in 98.59 hectares of the rainforest’s land. Many fear that it will completely destroy Dehing Patkai, which is also known as ‘Amazon of the East.’ It will lead to felling of 2.7 lakh trees. It is high time we stop exploiting Mother nature to sustain our greed. This coal mining, if allowed, will have irreversible damage on the wildlife and rainforest of Dehing Patkai. It is imperative that we raise our voices when there’s still time.
Gauhati University’s Eco Club, Moi prokriti, had initiated social media awareness and campaigns to save our Mother Nature. A lot of other students and people from all over have also started a movement through their art, photos, and videos on social media. A massive Online campaigns with #SaveDehingPatkai are going on against the government’s proposal.
More About Dehing Patkai
Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Dibrugarh and Tinsukia Districts of Assam and covers an area of 111.19 km2 (42.93 sq mi) rainforest. It is part of the Assam valley tropical wet evergreen forest and consists of three parts: Jeypore, upper Dihing River and Dirok rainforest. It was declared a sanctuary on 13 June 2004. This sanctuary is also a part of Dehing-Patkai Elephant Reserve. The rainforest stretches for more than 575 km2 (222 sq mi) in the districts of Dibrugarh, Tinsukia and Charaideo. A part of the forest was declared as a wildlife sanctuary by the Government of Assam, while another part falls under the Dibru-Deomali Elephant Reserve. The forest further spreads over in the Tirap and Changlang districts of Arunachal Pradesh. The Dehing Patkai forms the largest stretch of tropical lowland rainforests in India.