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Mining in forest: Baghel stands by decision, asks protesters to switch off AC first

Standing firm on his decision to allow mining in Hasdeo Aranya forests in the state even as people from his own party as well as the Opposition have joined protests along with local people, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Saturday said “certain people” are trying to spread misinformation on the mining projects.

Addressing the media at Kanker, Baghel said, “Those trying to politicise the issue should first stop using electricity and air-conditioner, fan and cooler, and then fight for the cause…. People are claiming 8 lakh trees will be cut, when in reality only 8,000 trees will be cut this year.”

He said those really concerned with the issue should focus on whether people from tribal communities have received compensation, and whether plantation is going on as per norm. Stating that he will not compromise on betterment of people and their forest rights, Baghel said, “But natural resources like coal, which create employment opportunities and form the backbone of industrial development, will have to be mined.”

Baghel’s statement comes days after the district administration stated that the gram sabha held to get approval of the mining project is valid.

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