The proposed diamond mine project in the Buxwaha forests of Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh has been facing resistance from environmentalists and nature lovers. The country’s largest diamond reserve is in Buxwaha and it is estimated that there are 3.42 crore carats of rough diamonds in the area. The project will spread in 364 hectares in the forests and extraction of diamonds could result in the felling of 2,15,875 trees. Locals and environmental activists are protesting against the project over ecological concerns demanding the withdrawal of the project.
Earlier too, there were protests when a company started working in the area. They could not complete the project and had to go back. Now, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Supreme Court, seeking a stay on the project in Buxwaha forests, which is situated about 225 km northeast of Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh’s capital.
Environment activist Ranveer Pateria, who is opposing the cutting of these trees, said that many tribal families live closeby and their livelihood depends upon the forest. “The tribals sell various forest products and earn money to sustain their lives. They fear that the project will deprive them of their livelihood and their lives will be destroyed after the falling of trees in the forest,” he said.
Another environment enthusiast Amit Bhatnagar said that the cutting down of forest will also lead to the reduction in the natural oxygen. “The company who is looking after the project talks about providing employment to locals. What will we do when we do not live? We are running a social media campaign to save the trees in the forest,” he said.