Mining may muffle tiger’s roar
Saturday, November 22, 2008 3:13:00 AM
The predator has become the prey again. The very existence of Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR), in Chandrapur district, which is a home to many tigers, is being threatened.
The state government is all set to allow coal mining in the vicinity of the tiger reserve. Avinash Warzurkar, chairman, Mining Corporation of Maharashtra, is lobbying for allotment of coal blocks to Adani Power Limited. The corporation is also toying with the idea of floating a joint venture with the company.
Warzurkar is known to have tried to persuade Babanrao Pachpute, state forest minister, who is also advocating the project, to delay declaration of buffer zone around the TATR.
He also confirmed his meeting with Pachpute. “The company will have to submit a proposal to state government which would be sent to the central government for final approval,” Pachpute said.
On the other hand, there are people backing up the tigers as well. Amit Girhe, Srushti Paryawaran Mandal, Nagpur, said, “Mining is being planned by the company in Agarzari block which is connecting TATR. Since the population of carnivora is on the rise, commissioning of the coal mine will escalate the current problem of man-animal conflict.”
The project has already invited strong opposition from environmentalists and NGOs. “We do not think that the ministry of coal has considered all the environmental aspects in the case of proposed Lohara Coal project while allocating land. We oppose the project as it is going to prove detrimental to the TATR and the environment in Chandrapur district,” said Nishikant Kale, president of Nature Conservation Society,