Jabalpur-based Activist Moves NGT Over Buxwaha Diamond Project

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The contentious issue of a proposed diamond project in Buxwaha forest in Madhya Pradesh’s Chhatarpur district has landed at the National Green Tribunal (NGT) of the Bhopal bench as a Jabalpur-based resident moved green watchdog against the project on Saturday. Dr PG Najpande, an environment activist from Jabalpur in his petition told the tribunal that the permission was granted against the norms.

The petitioner has pleaded with the tribunal to quash the permission granted for the diamond project in the forest area.

The petitioner said, according to information, a diamond project has been sanctioned by the government under Sogariya village in Buxwaha forest for a private company on a 364-hectare land.

The permission contradicts sustainable development provision as earlier ordered by the Supreme Court of India and the NGT itself, claimed the petitioner. He accused the Chhatarpur collector of violating an earlier NGT order in which the tribunal had ordered plantation in double the area than the forest destroyed by any project.

The diamond project will adversely impact the 8,000 forest dwellers and the State government hasn’t chalked out any plan for their welfare, he further claimed in the plea.

The petitioner added that a major wildlife imbalance could result in a fallout of the project and it will hamper the ecology and also the groundwater sources of the forest.

The NGT hasn’t fixed a date for the next hearing.

‘Save Buxwaha’ committee formed

A group of volunteers from Bhopal and other areas reached Chhatarpur on World Environment Day, planted samplings and held a meeting at Bhimkund for saving the forest. “We have formed a core committee for Bundelkhand as the forest will impact many districts like Sagar, Damoh, Chhatarpur and others,” Sharad Singh Kumre, an environment activist said. “Led by an ICAR Pusa retired scientist Dr Sadachari Singh Tomar, we have demanded a Jan Sunwayi (public hearing) on the matter and a proper tree audit,” added Kumre.

(inputs from Pratik Mohan Awasthi)

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