August 17, 2008
Court Gives Green Signal to Panna Diamond Mines
NEW DELHI: After two years of uncertainty, the Panna diamond mines will start producing what they are famous for - clear brilliant 'Motichul', green-tinted 'Manik', faint-orange 'Panna' and sepia coloured 'Bansput'.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday gave the go ahead to mining activity at Panna. But it came with a surprise package - an environment impact monitoring committee, which will include environmentalist Belinda Wright, one of the most disliked names in the corridors of the ministry of environment and forest, that was what it projected before apex court just a year ago.
The National Mineral Development Corporation, a government of India undertaking, is now free to start mining operations, which were stopped two years ago because of an SC order banning mining activity in forest areas.
These mines were deep inside the Panna National Sanctuary which is also home to tigers. The PSU agreed to deposit 5% of its capital cost for afforestation activity that would be overseen by a committee.
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