Buxwaha Forest: Deforestation for Diamonds!

Protests to conserve Madhya Pradesh’s Buxwaha forest is going on. Meanwhile, the Aditya Birla group’s Essel Mining& industries limited ( EMIL) has taken the diamond mining project. It poses a threat to over two lakh trees as well as intensifies air and water pollution.

Furthermore, implementation will change the whole biodiversity of the nearby land.

The project put forward an area of 384 hectares in buxwaha protected forest and came across near village Sagoria. The estimated resource in the block is around 53.70 million tons of kimberlite ore. Further, it holds around 34 million carats of the rough diamond. EMIL aims to initiate a fully industrialized opencast mine and processing plant for diamonds.

The company’s goal is to get the mining lease by the end of the year 2022 and then starting the mining activities. At present, EMIL is working to get various regulatory clearance like approval of mine plan, environment, and Forest clearance which is necessary to implements mining activities. The project will invest approximately INR 2500 Cr.

The area comprises 17 tribes and 7000 villages that are directly dependent on forest products like mahua, tend leaves, chironji, and amla for livelihood. For the execution of the project, they will cut over 2 lakh trees to clear the land. It will also require approximately 5.9 million cubic meters of water per day. To fulfill this condition, the construction of a dam will take place. This dam will engage a seasonal canal that can store 17 million cubic meters.

The topmost Diamond reserves states of India are Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Madhya Pradesh as stated by the Bureau of Mines (IBM).

Madhya Pradesh alone reports having 90.18% of the diamond reserve. It is considered that the mine has the ability of the biggest reservoir of diamonds in Asia.

People worried about this project have already started a nationwide protest and online awareness campaign #savebuxwahaforest. Few groups of people stepped out and started the symbolic Chipko Movement. They urge people from diverse communities to join the campaign spreading awareness. Initially, public interest litigation (PIL) has been submitted to the supreme court to put a stay on the diamond mining project.

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