Allow us to resume mining in Aravalli Hills: Haryana

Pandemic has grounded the State’s economy to a halt, it tells Supreme Court

Published - March 02, 2021 01:20 am IST - NEW DELHI

Women farmers work in their lush Mustard crop in Rajasthan under the Aravalli hills.

Women farmers work in their lush Mustard crop in Rajasthan under the Aravalli hills.

The Haryana government has appealed to the Supreme Court to permit it to resume mining in the Aravalli Hills on the grounds that the pandemic had grounded the State’s economy to a halt. The Supreme Court is slated to hear the petition on Thursday.

Mining in the region has been banned since 2002 under the Supreme Court orders, unless expressly permitted by the Union Environment Ministry. However, mining continued illegally.

A 2018 report by a Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) said 25% of the Aravalli range has been lost due to illegal mining in Rajasthan since 1967-68.

Vikrant Tongad, environmentalist and with the Social Action for Forest Environment, told The Hindu that the Haryana government had proposed to allow mining activities in 600 hectares.

Following the move, Mr. Tongad filed his own petition on Monday requesting the court to allow him to “intervene” in the ongoing writ petition.

The Aravalli hills spanning Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi are an ecologically sensitive zone but have for years borne the brunt of quarrying and environmental degradation. The consequences of this mining has been a destruction of aquifers and deforestation.

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