Sometimes, sinners become saviours.
It happened that the sinner, a minister in tamil nadu, wanted to destroy 40 hectares of shola rain forests in the fragile eco-system of kolli hills, and lease it out. Believe it or not. For mining.
Already battered by uninterrupted mining for bauxite for over 40 years, kolli hills, in the eastern ghats, with not many even visiting his pristine beauty, has been languishing for long. The predator, the mining company, wanted nothing other than the rain forests this time, and applied.
the forest department said a firm no. rightly so. which forester will ever accept to the destruction of shola? but the file was sent back to the forest officials by none other than the minister asking it to be reviewed in the positive. the file has been sleeping in the forest office for five months now.
now the minister piles up pressure on the top conservators to keep the file moving. inspite of the fact that the file have to travel a long way, till the supreme court's central empowerment committee to get the nod. he was confident of taking the file till that committee as his partyman happens to be sitting in the chair that seats the man who matters most for the environment and forests that are under threat.
he failed to realise that there is one paper that can spoil his designs. the paper carried the report. not the one it wanted to. in an effort to protect the sources, the sinner had to be shown as the saviour. never mind. another time will come to fix the minister. for now, the shola forests are safe.
the battle is by no means simple. think of the fragile habitat under pressure from development. the melting glaciers in the upper reaches of himalayas, the unabated pollution of the rivers, the thick, smoky urban air, mining in most of the forests, and the list could go on.
if the tribals are to be believed, the mining company, that has about 70 hectares in possession, has applied for rights over 650 hectares, including that 40 ha of rain forests. mind boggling. we may save the shola. but can we save the companies digging deep into the heart of the hills?
hope, eco-terrorists start surfacing soon to send terror along the spines of the mining managers.