New Delhi: Green activists today claimed that the report of high-level B K Chaturvedi committee would be a "death warrant" for forests and wildlife, if the government accepts its recommendations.
They alleged that the Chaturvedi report has recommended relaxing environmental safeguards to facilitate an expansion in coal mining, and abandoning the Environment Ministry`s "go" and "no go" forest classification.
"If accepted, the Chaturvedi report`s recommendations will be a death warrant for large forest areas across India, and for the wildlife and communities that depend on them,"
environmental lawyer Rahul Choudhary told reporters here.
He was speaking after releasing a report on how coal mining poses a serious threat to tigers in Maharashtra`s Chandrapur region, near the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve
(TATR). The report was prepared by a Fact Finding Mission to the area organised by Greenpeace India.
Wildlife experts Praveen Bhargav and Biswajit Mohanty and Choudhary were members of the mission. The team said coal mining poses a serious threat to tigers in Chandrapur region and must be reined in.
"No new mines should be given clearance and further expansion of operational mines in tiger habitat should be stopped," Bhargav said.
"Despite scientific evidence of a valuable source population of tigers in the Tadoba landscape, it is shocking to find that this data has been glossed over and wilfully
suppressed in the environment impact assessment report for the proposed Durgapur Deep Extension coal mine. These are clear grounds for rejection of the project," he said.
Greenpeace climate campaigner Preethi Herman said, "Our ministers, elected representatives of the people, must not sacrifice our forests in favour of corporate interests."