Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary to be upgraded into a National Park
Recently, the Assam State Government has
decided for the up-gradation of the status of the Dehing Patkai Wildlife
Sanctuary to National Park.
The decision was taken on 6th July 2020 and was
announced by the Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal.
A protest campaign led by environmentalists was conducted
through social media during the nationwide lockdown in the month of April 2020.
This campaign was due to the controversial decision made by the National Board
for Wild Life’s (NBWL) during its 57th meeting of the Standing Committee on 7th
April 2020 by giving preliminary approval for coal mining to Coal India
Limited’s subsidiary North Eastern Coalfield (NEC) inside 98.57 hectare of land
Saleki Proposed Reserved Forest.
Saleki Proposed Reserved Forest falls within the
‘Eco-Sensitive Zone’, that is within 10 Km of radius from the Dehing Patkai
Wild Life Sanctuary.
The Saleki Proposed Reserved Forest is at a distance of
exact 9.1 Kilometers from the Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary.
After the controversy, coal mining operations were suspended
at the site from 3rd June 2020 onwards.
Coal India Limited’s unit NEC was mining at the location
since 2003 without any official clearances.
For this, the Forest Department of
Assam has imposed a penalty of Rs 43.24 crore on Coal India Limited in May
Dehing Patkai: A fact file
Under the Project Elephant of the Union Ministry of
Environment and Forests, in 1992 Dehing Patkai was declared as an Elephant
Later on 13th June 2004, Dehing Patkai was declared as a Wildlife