MUMBAI: Maharashtra Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray has written to Union minister Pralhad Joshi, seeking his intervention in halting the auction of Marki- Mangli-II coal block located in an eco-sensitive zone in the state.
In his letter to the Union coal and mines minister, Thackeray highlighted the environmental damage that will be caused if coal extraction is allowed at the site, an official statement said on Tuesday.
He urged Joshi to drop the auction of the mine, located in Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) and Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary in eastern Maharashtra, contending it could cause irreparable losses to the entire forest zone ecosystem and the wildlife depending on it, the statement said.
The segment where the mine block is proposed, also falls under the area of approved Tiger Conservation Plan (TCP) of Tadoba, the state minister noted.
Thackeray said about 250 hectares of the proposed mining area, which accounts for almost 50 per cent of this project, is on reserve forest land in the Mukutban range of Yavatmal district.
News reports suggest that while in 2015, the Union environment ministry had mentioned this proposed mine to be in "inviolate areas", the 2018 communication from the ministry does not mention so, he observed.
"Our thriving tigers in the region will not only lose their natural habitat, but would have to face massive level of disturbances due to the mining activity and increased presence of humans in the region," Thackeray said, according to the statement.