Aravalis mining ban

Published: Wednesday 15 April 2009

Apex court lets state government decide

THE Supreme Court on March 19 asked the Haryana government to ban mining activites in the Aravalis if it felt the eco-system of the mountain range is getting destroyed. Amicus curiae (friend of the court) Ranjit Kumar, along with many lawyers though pressed for a total ban on mining. Hearing in the case was on when the magazine went to press.

On January 15, the central empowered committee (cec), which advises the court on matters related to forests, recommended all mining leases in Faridabad and Gurgaon be revoked permanently. The water scarcity in these areas has become critical.

Stone quarrying in the Aravali mountain that falls between the Thar desert and the Gangetic plains has been debated in the court for the past 14 years. Most mines like the ones at Khori Jamalpur and Sirohi villages have been dug up to groundwater table, leading to evaporation.

The cec said a survey could be condtucted to identify 600 hectares (ha) on which mining could be allowed in patches. It suggested the land be divided into sections of 30 ha to allow mining in a 5 ha patch of each section. Only after a patch is ecologically restored, should another patch be leased.

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