Supreme Court bans mining in Haryana’s Aravali hills

May 8th, 2009 - 4:56 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, May 8 (ANI): Having cracked the whip on ragging in educational institutions, the Supreme Court on Friday also banned all mining activity in Haryana’s Aravali Hills, describing the ongoing ecological degradation as very serious.

In March, the apex court said that the relentless battering of this natural barrier would allow the western desert to gradually eat up the grain bowl of the Gangetic plains.

During the March hearing on the matter, amicus curiae Ranjit Kumar explained to the court how for years, mine lease holders have been violating the license conditions by digging right up to the water table leading to a massive drop in groundwater levels, causing severe drinking water shortage in the villages.

He also said then that lease holders had not filled up abandoned mine pits or taken up afforestation drives.

The Special Forest Bench, comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices Arijit Pasayat and S H Kapadia, said: “If there is total devastation of Aravalis, then the logical corollary is a total ban on mining activity’.

“Once we are satisfied that there is total devastation, we can impose a total ban on mining. It is like cancelling an examination because of widespread malpractices,” the apex court added. (ANI)

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