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Govt changes tack on conserving dense forests, okays mining in Chhattisgarh

Coal mining has been allowed in the 5-mtpa Parsa Open Cast Coal Mine, about 841.5 hectares from Chhattisgarh's Hasdeo Arand forest, one of India's densest sal forests

A labourer works inside a coal yard on the outskirts of Ahmedabad Photo: Reuters
A labourer works inside a coal yard. Photo: Reuters

The Union government has allowed coal mining in Chhattisgarh’s Hasdeo Arand, one of India’s densest sal forests, ignoring its own scientific demarcation of this patch of forest as ‘inviolate’ — one so dense and biologically valuable that no industrial or development activity should be permitted there. The permission is for mining coal from the 5-million-tonne-per-annum Parsa Open Cast Coal Mine, in about 841.5 hectares from the Hasdeo Arand forest. The clearing of forests, acquisition of lands and all mining operations will be carried out by the Adani ...