|‘Reverse move on Dehing Patkai mining’|
GUWAHATI, May 21 - Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi has called upon the Central government to reverse the decision to allow coal mining in the Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve.
In a letter to Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar, the Lok Sabha MP from Kaliabor constituency stated that the recent decision permitting Coal India Ltd to start coal mining in Dehing Patkai is “extremely dangerous”.
“Assam is the most bio-diverse region in South Asia and Dehing Patkai is a special region within Assam with rare species of birds, butterfly, fish, animals and water bodies. In 2003, Assam government had protected this region as Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve because an elephant corridor runs through this area... In 2012, Assam State Wildlife Board refused permission to Coal India Ltd for casting coal in this wildlife sanctuary,” Gogoi stated.
He alleged that “unprecedented illegal rat-hole coal mining” is going on at Dirak Likhajan under Dehing Patkai.
“This is not possible without the blessing of local political leaders. People of Assam want protection of our biodiversity, not its destruction. Even though the State Wildlife Board has made this anti-environment recommendation, your Ministry has the power to recall the permission (given) to Coal India Ltd. On behalf of the people of Assam, I request you to protect Dehing Patkai as an Asiatic biodiversity hotspot and elephant reserve,” Gogoi said.