Illegal mining in Aravalis continues despite ban

Despite several measures undertaken by the state government in the past to check illegal mining in Aravalis, the menace has continued to haunt the state. Taking a serious view of the on going illegal mining, the state government has now directed the regional officers of the Haryana Pollution Control Board (HPCB) to constitute a committee for a strict vigil on any illegal activity in the Aravali range.

The regional officers of the HPCB have been asked to submit a videographed report by the end of next month to provide documentary proof of all such wrong doings in the Aravalis which are a threat to the environment.

Minister of State for Tourism, Environment and Forests, Kiran Choudhary, who presided over a meeting of the state pollution control board, asked the officers to take strict action against those involved in such activities. The officers have been asked to submit a regular report on such activities to keep the department well-informed.

The Supreme Court, in its order, had banned mining in the areas around Delhi and the Aravalis because of pollution and threat to ecological balance caused by it. However, mining activities have increased in the recent years. With the 2010 Commonwealth Games scheduled to be held in Delhi, construction activities has increased in Delhi and surrounding areas. The usage of stones and other materials has increased as a result.

UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, in a letter to the Haryana government, asked for stopping of illegal mining activities Aravalis. But the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government failed to keep a check on the illegal mining activities, according to sources.

Talking to The Indian Express, Kiran Choudhary said the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government is very serious about checking illegal mining in the state. "Illegal mining is a threat to ecology. It is an offence against mother nature. We are trying our best to put a stop to illegal mining. The photographic evidence would be crucial in prosecution of the offenders in the future,'' she said.

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