Monday, 30th October 2017

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Gogoi writes to Javadekar

Previously the former CM had also written to PM Modi terming the proposed move as a 'derogatory decision' of the Centre

By Rokibuz Zaman in Guwahati
  • Published 24.05.20, 4:18 AM
  • Updated 24.05.20, 4:18 AM
  • a min read
Tarun Gogoi Picture by UB Photos

Former chief minister Tarun Gogoi has written to the Union ministry of forest and environment to withdraw its decision permitting Coal India Limited at Margherita in Assam to go for open cast mining at Dirak Likhajan under Dehing Patkai wildlife sanctuary and at Saleki under Dehing Patkai elephant reserve, which straddles Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts in Upper Assam.

Gogoi’s letter to Prakash Javadekar on Saturday follows the latter’s emphasis on preserving the rich biodiversity of India on International Biodiversity Day held in New Delhi on Friday.

While drawing the ministry’s attention to the growing concern and opposition to the proposed mining move, Gogoi’s letter said the decision would destroy the biodiversity of the hotspot, which is the richest in Asia.

He said agitation by various sections on Assam, particularly by youths and students besides other environment lovers, were against the decision of the ministry.

“You being the guardian for preserving the richest biodiversity of the country, I request you to withdraw the decision of the ministry in response to the people’s demand at the earliest,” Gogoi said.

On Thursday, a group of 305 conservation scientists and professionals from across the Northeast had also written to Javadekar expressing their concerns over the diversion of 98.59 hectares land of Saleki proposed reserve forest, which is a part of the Dehing Patkai elephant reserve, for a coal mining project.

Before Javadekar, Gogoi had also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi terming the proposed move as a “derogatory decision” of the Centre and demanded revocation of the “destructive decision”.

The National Board for Wildlife’s Standing Committee, had, on April 7, amid the nationwide lockdown, discussed a proposal for the use of 98.59 hectares of land from the proposed reserve forest for a coal mining project by North Eastern Coal Field, a unit of the Coal India Ltd, triggering widespread opposition and concern over the move.

A dozen rights, social and community-based organisations wrote on Saturday to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to annul the proposed diversion of a green patch near the “Amazon of Assam” for a coal mining project.

These organisations include the Tai-Ahom Yuva Parishad, Swaraj Asom, Jeepal Krishak Sramik Sangha, All Assam Goria Parishad, All Assam Nath Yogi Students’ Union and All Kalita Students’ Union.