Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as the Amazon of the East is located in the Dibrugarh and Tinsukia Districts of Assam. It forms the largest stretch of tropical lowland rainforests in India. The Dehing Patkai is also the only rainforest in Assam. However, the Sanctuary is now in danger. Amid the lockdown, the National Board of Wildlife (NBWL) in April, 2020 approved a coal-mining project in the Saleki reserve forest which is a part of Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve. The decision was announced through a video conference call, chaired by Prakash Javadekar, the chairman of NBWL, also the Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change of our country. The announcement sparked protests by environmentalists and everyone else in Assam. #SaveDehingPatkai is trending on social media, with people campaigning online to save the only rainforest in the state. 'Save Aarey' Setback: Bombay High Court Dismisses All Petitions Challenging BMC Decision Allowing Felling of Over 2,700 Trees For Metro Car Shade.
The Dehing Patkai Wildlife covers an area of 111.19 km2 rainforest. NBWL has permitted the Coal India Limited to start extraction in 98.59 hectares of land at Dehing Patkai. It will entirely destroy the Sanctuary. Because of the lockdown, the disagreement between the government and people was not initially seen. But after Gauhati University students initiated a campaign online to save the wildlife, it started getting the momentum. With the help of social media, people in Assam are trying to reach the centre, urging other cities to stand with them to protect nature.
The Gauhati University Post Graduate students also alleged that illegal mining has already been going on by the coal mafias in the forest. The recent decision by the government might ruin the Sanctuary completely. The environmental activists have also started an online petition to save the Amazon of the East.
Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary is known as “Amazon of the East” in Assam.
Last month, Modi Govt gave permission for Coal Mining inside the sanctuary. Raise your voice like you did for Aarey. Save the rainforest for Assam, for India 🇮🇳 #SaveDehingPatkai pic.twitter.com/vK2UVTtaVA
— Dhruv Rathee (@dhruv_rathee) May 17, 2020
Amazon of the East
The last rainforest of eastern India in Assam is on the verge of collapsing due to illegal coal mining. Help us stop this industrial and political powerplay in the forests of Assam.. @LeoDiCaprio @UN @ravishndtv@ndtv @ThePrintIndia @thewire_in #savedehingpatkai pic.twitter.com/KVYei2kpgv
— Bhargav Jyoti (@BhargavJyoti12) May 20, 2020
People in Assam Are Sad With the Decision
#savedehingpatkai @PrakashJavdekar @PMOIndia @narendramodi We are really very sad on your decision. We urge you to visit this place for once and it's sure that you will change your mind. We do not want development at the cost of loosing our forest. Please visit dihing patkai!
— R Raj (@RRaj67464562) May 20, 2020
— Pranjit Sharmah (@PranjitGayle) May 20, 2020
The Only Rainforest in Assam
— sahil khan (@sahilkh12054144) May 20, 2020
Save the Green
@PrakashJavdekar let the Amazon of the East remain green. Don't harm the lungs of our country, let our forests breath. #I_AM_DEHING_PATKAI #SaveDehingPatkai #SaveAmazonOfTheEast pic.twitter.com/1WtVzACwUB
— Gaurab Talukdar (@GaurabTalukdar8) May 17, 2020
Say No to Coal Mining
That one time when I passed through the pristine Dehing-Patkai forest in 2017. The area resonates with the sounds of birds n crickets chirping.
— Shaheen Ahmed (@Aakori_Baakori) May 20, 2020
Being a complete virgin rainforest, this Sanctuary is very rich in biodiversity. But the region is already threatened by high polluting, industries, such as coal mines, oil refineries and gas drilling that affect the biodiversity of this region. The place is home to more than 292 bird species, 47 reptile species, 30 butterfly species, pig-tailed macaque, stump-tailed macaque, capped langur, Asian elephant, Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, gaur, Chinese pangolin, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan squirrel, leopard cat, and many more.