Raipur: Chhattisgarh health, panchayat and rural development minister TS Singh Deo has written letter to Surguja district collector urging him to consider the demands of Gram Panchayat regarding the Lemru elephant project and coal mines.
The minister stated in his letter that he has received information that many Gram Panchayats of development block Udaipur are coming under the Lemru Elephant Project proposed by the government.
“I have spoken to many villagers on this; most people are not in favor of it. At the same time, most of the Gram Panchayats have organized gram sabhas in this regard and have passed a resolution which is not in the favor of Lemru Elephant Project. In such a situation, the demand of gram Panchayats and villagers should be considered”, the minister said in his letter.
The minister further stated in the letter that the villagers have said that coal mines should not be opened in the area in the future. He said that consent of Gram Panchayat should be taken in this regard and no action should be taken regarding the expansion of Lemru Elephant Project or coal mine till the consent of villagers and Gram Panchayat is received.
He further added that this is a scheduled area and the process of enforcing the PESA law is in the pipeline by the government as well. In such a situation, it would not be in the public interest to include the Gram Panchayats under the Lemru Elephant Project without the consent their consent. Besides, it is necessary to take the consent of the public and take them into confidence.
Meanwhile, the panchayat and rural development minister had expressed his displeasure over the ongoing survey work for the Lemru Project. In this Lemru project, 38 villages of Udaipur area and 14 villages in Lakhanpur area are likely to be affected. Earlier the Lemru project was to be built in 450 sq km but now the process of spreading it over 4,000 sq km is going on.