The Supreme Court (SC) of India on 4 July 2014 directed Haryana Government to stop all illegal mining and stone crushing activities in Aravali Hills region. In its direction, SC gave two weeks time to stop the process otherwise it will face Contempt of Court proceedings.
SC also asked the Haryana Government to file an affidavit along with a status report on stoppage of illegal mining within two weeks.
SC also asked Advocate AND Rao, amicus curiae for SC green bench, to request its high-powered environmental panel, Central Empowered Committee, to inspect the area and furnish a report.
The direction was passed by the Supreme Court’s bench comprising of Justice FMI Kalifulla and Justice AK Sikri after referring the fresh site inspection report submitted by the environment panel. The order came on a PIL filed by an NGO Bandhua Mukti Morcha. In the PIL, the NGO argued that illegal mining in the region have not stopped despite SC order banning illegal mining in Arravali and Shivalik regions. This is causing immense damage to the environment and ecology of the area.
In May 1992, some parts of the Aravalli hills in Rajasthan and Haryana were protected from mining by declaring it as Ecologically Sensitive Areas. In 2003, The Union Government prohibited mining operations in these areas. In 2004, Supreme Court banned mining in the notified areas of Aravalli range. In May 2009, the Supreme Court extended the ban on mining in an area of 448 square kilometers across Faridabad, Gurgaon and Mewat districts in Haryana, covering Aravalli range.
About Aravali Ranges
• The Aravali Range literally meaning 'line of peaks' is a range of mountains in western India running approximately 800 km in a north-eastern direction across Indian states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi. It is also called Mewat hills locally
• The Aravalli ranges are the oldest fold mountains in India
• The northern end is at Delhi Rdige and the southern end is at Palanpur near Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The highest peak is Guru Shikhar (1722 meters) in Mount Abu in Rajasthan
• Numerous rivers rise amidst the ranges. These are the Banas River, the Luni River, the Sahibi, the Sakhi, and the Sabarmati River
When: 4 July 2014