Chandrapur : After the union government released Bander coal block for auctioning, around 20 to 25 activists belong to non-governmental organization Eco-Pro Chandrapur visited coal block site in Chimur tehsil on Monday, few of them dressed up in tiger costume and condemned the union government moves to auction the block for commercial mining in the ecologically sensitive area.

Bander coal block situated near the Navegaon and Kolara gates of the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra falls under the ecologically sensitive area.

Bandu Dhotre, District President of (NGO) Eco-Pro, said, “This was our second protest in the week after the central government has announced 41 coal block auctioning for commercial mining purpose including Bander block.”

He said, “Considering the ecological sensitivity, auctioning block in TATR for commercial mining is not a good step, the area has already been classified into ‘no-go’ zone by former environment minister Jairam Ramesh after the forest division had rejected the permission for the project in 2009-10.”

The Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) having a large number of tiger’s population in the state, if block gets clearance then tigers will be affected the worst, says the activist group.

Sandip Jiwane, Bhadrawati tehsil president of Eco-Pro, said, “The block falls near to buffer zone of TATR and one of the important routes used by tigers for the movement, if mining will come in the area it will disturb northern bottleneck of tigers.”

Activists, of Eco-Pro, told IndiaReal that they have been demanding no to commercial mining in the TATR zone for decades because it would have a disastrous impact on the forest, wildlife animals, and most importantly tigers.

If this will not be stopped then the major problems will arise in near future such as man-animal conflict will arise, we have to see forest degradation too, warn activists protesting at the Bander block on Monday.

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