Ban on diamond mining in Buxwaha forests: MP High Court

Siddharth Pandey, Amar Ujala, Jabalpur

Published by: Ravindra Bhajani
Updated to Tuesday, 26 October 2021 07:57 PM IST

Summary

Madhya Pradesh High Court bans diamond mining in Buxwaha forests The Archaeological Survey of India reports that the rock paintings in the forest date back to the Stone Age. Diamond mining can damage these paintings.

Buxwaha forest, where the High Court has imposed a ban on diamond mining.

Buxwaha forest, where the High Court imposed a ban on diamond mining.
– Photo: Amar Ujala

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Madhya Pradesh High Court bans diamond mining in Buxwaha forest The Archaeological Department conducted an inquiry and submitted a report to the High Court. It states that the rock paintings in the Buxwaha forest date back to the Middle Ages. Diamond mining can damage these paintings. After reading the report, the High Court immediately issued an order banning mining.

Two petitions have been filed against diamond mining in Buxwaha forests before a bench comprising Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court Justice Ravi Vijay Malimat and Justice Vijay Kumar Shukla. Dr. PG Nazpande of the Citizen Consumer Guidance Munch petitioned for the declaration of a 25,000-year-old rock painting in the Buxwaha forest as an archeological property. The petition states that the Archaeological Department did not declare the rock painting a protected area despite providing information about it. The proposed diamond mining on 364 hectares of land in the area could start anytime. This painting is an important source of information about human life in the Stone Age. The petition was also filed in the National Green Tribunal on environmental and Buxwaha forest issues. The petition was filed in the High Court on the ground that the matter of archeological assets did not fall under the purview of the NGT.

The survey was conducted between July 10-12

Surendra Verma, counsel for the petitioner, said that the Archaeological Department had completed the survey work in the Bakshwaha forest between July 10 and 12. The report was filed in the High Court. The petitioner demanded that mining be banned on the basis of this survey. According to the Archaeological Survey of India, the forest has sculptures and pillars dating back to the time of Kalchuri, Kalchuri and Chandela. This property will be damaged if any mining activities take place. The couple, who had earlier inquired into the petition, directed the Archaeological Department to conduct a bench survey and submit a report.

In the second petition the environment became an issue

Ramit Basu from Haryana, Harshavardhan Melanta from Maharashtra and Pankaj Kumar from Uttar Pradesh filed another petition. The state government has leased 382 hectares of Buxwaha forest land to Aditya Birla Group’s Essel Mining and Industry for diamond mining on a 50-year lease. For this, two and a half lakh trees have to be cut down. Adjacent to the Panna Tiger Reserve, this jungle falls under the Tiger Corridor. Permission must be obtained from the NTCA and the Wildlife Board for this, but it is not taken. Applicants say that even wildlife has a right to live, and if these forests are cut down, where will they go? It takes thousands of years for a forest like Buxvaha to form. Leasing the forest for the benefit of the state government is immoral.

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