Indian energy company plans to destroy valuable forests to mine coal
Essar - a giant Indian energy corporation - is building a coal power plant in central Indian state of Madya Pradesh. The plant needs millions of tons of coal to operate, and that coal lies beneath the nearby forests of Mahan, a rich habitat that supports the lives and livelihoods of over 14,000 people from 14 villages.
Last week Greenpeace activists in India scaled Essar's Mumbai offices to expose their plans, while protesters gathered outside their London operations in solidarity.
For the local environment, coal extraction will be devastating, putting endangered plants and animals at risk. The trees are one of the last ancient sal forests in Asia. To the south lies a tiger reserve and the forest in this area is part of important wildlife corridor, allowing animals to move between different regions.
The Mahan forest is critical to the huge forest area that extends into Chhattisgarth and Jharkhand states, so if Mahan is not protected then it is likely the entire forest will be demolished with companies like Essar leading the charge.
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