ANGUL: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked Chief Secretary to submit action taken report (ATR) within four weeks of the receipt the order regarding massive tree felling by Mahanadi Coalfield Limited (MCL) in Talcher for mining activities.
The NHRC issued the notice to the State Government in July after taking cognisance of a complaint filed by Sangita Swain, secretary of Human Rights Watch at Angul.
In her letter to NHRC, Sangita complained that the MCL has already felled trees in 143 hectares of Danara and Padmabatipur reserved forest for the mining. The reserve forest is 50-60 years old having around 50,000 Sal trees which are protected by the locals.
“It is notable that Talcher has become the hottest town in Odisha due to deforestation and large industries. So permission granted to the MCL by the Government for mining is a clear violation of human rights,” Sangita stated in her complaint.
She appealed to NHRC to stop destruction of forest and take action against the authorities concerned for violation of human rights. However, there was no response from the Chief Secretary till August 30.