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- Context (TOI): Tribal rights activists condemn large scale tree-felling in Hasdeo.
- Called as lungs of Chhattisgarh, Hasdeo Arand is a 1,70,000-hectare forest.
- The forest falls under Korba, Sujapur and Sarguja districts with a sizeable tribal population.
- The Hasdeo River, the largest tributary of Mahanadi River, flows through it.
- It is the largest unfragmented forest in Central India consisting of pristine Sal and teak forests.
- The forest is a catchment area of Hasdeo Bango Dam, which helps in the irrigation of around 3,00,000 hectares for crops.
- It is home to animals like sloth bears, elephants, bird species, and endangered butterfly species.
- The forests are ecologically sensitive and are part of the elephant corridor.
- The Aranya region is home to 22 coal mines.
Protest Against Mining in Hasdeo
- In 2010, GoI designates Hasdeo Arand a “no-go” area for mining because of its rich forest cover.
- In 2011, the ‘No-Go’ policy circumvented. The Go, No-Go classification of forests was replaced and Parse East Kente Basab coal mine project was given a go ahead as part of Phase I.
- In 2022, Chhattisgarh government gave green light to Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam for coal mining as part of coal block’s Phase II.
- The tribal community has been protesting against the coal mining projects in the region to protect the ecologically sensitive region.