Meghalaya, Bad Mining Precedent Causes More Deforestation
April 8, 2010: It would appear that the connection between deforestation and climate change has not sunk into the minds of the most powerful people in the land. A classic example is the Lafarge case, which dominated the Supreme Court over many hearing during April.
According to Ritwick Datta and Kanchi Kohli who are keeping the country informed on critical forest cases in the Supreme Court of India: "The case which started in 2007 when the Regional Office of the Ministry of Environment and Forest detected the violation of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 and the Supreme Court orders, reached its peak with the Supreme Court ordering a stay on the mining activities till EIA is done. Strangely, the Regional Office of the MoEF had taken a strong stand in 2007 against mining and the concealment of information now seems to have changed its stand and is all out advocating on the benefits of mining in the region ! Lafarge case could not have reached this stage but for the fight taken up by the local tribal group ‘Shella Action Committee’.
The Central Empowered Committee (CEC) Report virtually accepted the fait accompli situation and recommended monetary compensation, the Shella Action Committee’s intervention application brought to light the need to take strict action against violators. Strangely, though predictably, the Supreme Court was keen to follow the Sterlite-Vedanta model as adopted in Orissa for Meghalaya. The interim order directed that an EIA be prepared and the case is posted for July 2010."
For more information on forest issues pending in the Supreme Court log on to www.forestcaseindia.org.
Read the original news report here.