MP firm's proposal to explore iron ore near Panna turned down

In keeping with its decision of not allowing any mining activity near tiger habitat, the Environment Ministry has rejected a company's proposal to explore iron ore near Madhya Pradesh's Panna National Park. Madhya Pradesh-based Sarthak Industries had sought diversion of 87.850 hectares of forest land for drilling and exploration of iron ore in Sagoriya forest block (Buxswaha Range) in Chattarpur division.The Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) in a recent meeting noted that the proposed mining was near the Panna reserve and it was in the interest of conservation to discourage mining in this unfragmented forest land. Rejecting the proposal, the FAC noted that "the prospecting areas lie in good forest belt of Chattarpur division where no mining was presently being undertaken".

"The FAC was clear that as per the government's policy no mining will be allowed near tiger habitat. It also stressed that it is in the interest of conservation to discourage prospecting/ mining in the unfragmented forest land in Chhatarpur division," officials said. As per an amendment to the Wildlife Protection Act, buffer areas in tiger reserves are not supposed to have mining projects. In fact, a mining project in Tadoba tiger reserve was also been turned down because of the same reasons.Panna sanctuary, which had lost all its tigers to poaching, got a big boost when a translocated female big cat gave birth to four cubs a few months back. Last year, three tigers--one male and two females - were re-introduced in the reserve. The big cats are being monitored through radio-collars and are under constant surveillance.


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