Target: Altamas Kabir, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India
Goal: Stop illegal gypsum mining in India’s wildlife sanctuaries and national park areas
Although India’s Supreme Court prohibits mining in wildlife sanctuaries and national parks, mining companies continue to destroy these environmentally protected regions. At least thirteen mining companies have been illegally extracting gypsum from these areas to make everything from fertilizer to cement. Mining companies should not be allowed to harm endangered plants and animals for the sake of profit. Protect India’s natural resources and enforce mining regulations.
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India recently released a report which cited 111,613 metric tons of gypsum minerals extracted from thirteen mining lessees in environmentally protected areas. According to the report, “The department did not adhere to the directions of Supreme Court and granted mining lease for extraction of gypsum within and in vicinity of Kazinag National Park and Limber-Lachipura wildlife Sanctuary despite reservations raised by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, and Commissioner and Secretary to the state government forests department.”
Gypsum is a hydrated sulfate that is used to manufacture cement, plaster of paris, wall board textiles, paint, rubber, and fertilizer. Although the manufacturing of these products is important to India’s economy, miners should not be extracting minerals from environmentally sensitive parks and sanctuaries.
Sign the below petition to urge India’s Supreme Court to enforce existing laws that prohibit mining from areas within ten kilometers of the boundaries of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. These are eco-sensitive zones and the extraction of minerals in these regions threatens the lives of plants and animals struggling to survive.
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Dear Chief Justice Kabir,
At least thirteen mining companies are in clear violation of Indian law for their illegal extraction of gypsum from national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Your December 2006 ruling prohibiting mineral extraction within ten kilometers from these environmentally-sensitive areas is commendable. However, this law must be enforced, now more than ever before.
I am urging you to monitor India’s parks and sanctuaries on a regular basis to ensure that illegal mining is not taking place. I am also urging you to enforce strict penalties for violators, who decide to break the law and mine for gypsum in unauthorized locations. The recent CAG report showed that there has been insufficient enforcement of conditions like planting native species, dump sites, and metal topping of major haul roads. With your help, we can preserve India’s natural resources and support the nation’s economy in an environmentally-sound manner.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: FAndrey via WikiMedia