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Complete check on illegal mining, says Haryana
S.S. Negi
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, August 15
With the change of guard in Haryana, the state government has pledged in the Supreme Court that it was maintaining complete check on illegal mining in the fragile Aravali hill region falling in its territory in the districts of Faridabad and Gurgaon.

In a fresh affidavit submitted before a three-judge Bench, headed by Mr Justice Y.K. Sabharwal, monitoring the progress in improving the environment of Aravali hills, the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government said the apex court’s March 29 directives regarding putting a complete ban on illegal mining “are being fully complied with and a constant vigil is being maintained through nakas and patrolling at sensitive places to prevent it.”

The government said the Faridabad district administration has set up eight check posts and barriers on the Faridabad-Gurgaon, Faridabad-Delhi, Faridabad-Pali-Alampur-Sohna roads, manned by the police and officials from the Department of Mines and Geology and sales tax to keep round-the-clock vigil Since this network has been put in place, “no illegal mining has been observed in the district of Faridabad,” the affidavit, filed by Faridabad Deputy Commissioner G. Anupama through Haryana’s standing counsel Ajay Siwach claimed.

The court, which had been monitoring the progress in implementing the environment protection measures in the Aravali hill region, comprising Gurgaon and Faridabad districts of Haryana and Alwar district of Rajasthan, since 1985 following a public interest litigation (PIL) by noted environmental lawyer M.C. Mehta, had earlier taken strong exception to the previous government not taking serious measures to stop the mining.

The Haryana Government said mining was allowed only in those areas for which permission was granted by the court and the state administration had accordingly issued licences to the leaseholders. Duly attested and signed “issuing certificates” from the officials concerned, were being issued to permit holders in the Sirohi and Khori areas.

“No truck is being allowed to pass through without the ‘issuing certificate’ even from the legal mines,” the affidavit said.

The Excise Department had been given responsibility to evaluate the stock position of the raw material and crushed material every day at the crusher sites, to ensure that no one was allowed to indulge in any irregularity.

The vehicles used for ferrying raw material and crushed stones were being regularly checked by the transport department officials and those without any registration with the authorities were not permitted to operate in the mining zones, the government said.

Government counsel had earlier informed the court that videography of the mining sites was being done on regular basis and the video tapes would be placed before the Bench, when the next hearing took place.

During brief hearing last week, the court indicated that it would like to look into the rehabilitation problems of people living in the area where mining activity had been stopped. Most of the people living there were labourers, who had settled there when the mining was in full swing.

The court had issued various directions for stopping mining from time to time following experts’ reports indicating that in discriminate mining and excessive pumping of groundwater in the area posed a grave threat to the ecology and environment of fragile Aravali hills.

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