A panel of Environment Ministry has deferred the clearance of forest in Madhya Pradesh by mining giant Rio Tinto for their Rs 2,200 crore diamond mining project, on the grounds that it will lead to the loss of high-quality forest areas. The project has been waiting for the forest clearance since 2014. On July 12, the Forest Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Environment and Forests decided to put the clearance of the tiger landscape on hold. The area lies in the Tiger Corridor between the Panna Tiger Reserve and Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary.
To set up the diamond mining project, 971 hectares of forest area has to be cleared in Chhatarpur region of Madhya Pradesh. Rio Tinto earlier said that there are diamonds worth Rs 20,520 crore in Bunder and nearly half-a-million trees would have to be cut down to make way for the diamond mine. An agreement was signed in 2010 between the Madhya Pradesh government and Rio Tinto Exploration India Pvt. Ltd (RTEIPL) for diamond mining. But the environment ministry panel has been able to hold the decision of clearance.
The Logical Indian wholeheartedly welcomes the decision to hold the decision to defer the clearance for the project that could have potentially cost so much damage to the ecosystem and not to mention the enormous loss of trees which has already been dwindling at an enormous pace.