GRAVEL MINING IN Mahendragarh’s NANGAL CHOUDHARY

Ecology to take a hit as trees face the axe in 25 villages

MAHENDRAGARH: It is feared lakhs of trees in Nangal Choudhary will be cut following a government’s move to lease out sites spread over 25 villages around Krishnawati and Dohan rivers for gravel mining.

Ecology to take a hit as trees face the axe in 25 villages

Trees at a mining zone in Mahendragarh district. TRIBUNE PHOTO

editorial@tribune.com

Ravinder Saini

Tribune News Service

Mahendragarh, January 31

It is feared lakhs of trees in Nangal Choudhary will be cut following a government’s move to lease out sites spread over 25 villages around Krishnawati and Dohan rivers for gravel mining.

The mining authorities say there are a few pockets having trees in the mining zone, hence any need to cut trees will not cause a major affect on the environment. The Forest Department claims gravel mining could not be undertaken without cutting all trees at the river bed and around.

Nearly 500 hectares of mining area has been leased out by the government to two private firms around the Krishnawati and Dohan rivers for gravel mining.

One of the firms has started functioning around the Krishnawati river and is contemplating axing trees that cause hurdle in the mining, the sources said.

“We will soon seek permission from the department to cut trees in Nangal Kalia village, as mining cannot be carried out without felling of trees. It is mentioned in the lease deed that the trees can be cut, if necessary, after getting nod from the Forest Department,” said an official of the firm.

Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Sunder Lal said lakhs of trees would face the axe if gravel mining was undertaken at the river bed, as the mining was impossible without uprooting trees. Nearly 3 lakh saplings were planted on panchayat land here during 2002-13, he claimed.

Mining Officer Bhagirath Vashistha said, “Most of the mining zone is free from trees and cutting some will not affect the environment much.

One of the firms that took the mining site around the Dohan river has surrendered its lease. Now, e-tenders will be invited afresh.”

Satpal Yadav, founder of the Jan Jagriti Society, has approached Union Minister for Environment and Forests Prakash Javadekar, urging him to ensure protection of trees in Mahendragarh district, one of the big centres of mining activities in Haryana.

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