RTI reply reveals illegal mining still continues in Aravalis

RTI reply reveals illegal mining still continues in Aravalis


Gurgaon: The district mining department has claimed that it has managed to tackle illegal mining activities in Aravalis. While in 2019, only three cases of illegal mining were recorded, this figure stood at two in 2018 and four in 2017. In 2002, the Supreme Court had imposed a blanket ban on mining in Gurgaon, Mewat and Faridabad.
However, illegal mining is still going on in the Aravalis. The department has collected a penalty of Rs 27,68,241 from 19 vehicles and individuals who are found to be carrying out illegal mining activities last year. This was revealed by a reply by the department to the RTI plea filed by activist Aseem Takiyar. Meanwhile, environmental activists have pointed out that small-scale illegal mining activities are still destroying the forest areas.
Explaining the details of cases in the RTI reply, the department said illegal mining activities were reported in Kheri Daula, Badshapur and Manesar in 2017. Similarly, two cases were reported in Bhodsi in 2018. All these activities were reported at ‘gair mumkin pahar’ areas. The tag gives it the protection of a deemed forest. A mining department official claimed that between 2014 and 2016, the department had recommended 20 FIRs against the violators and also collected a total of Rs 6 lakh as penalty and royalty for carrying out mining activities.
“We are conducting regular monitoring of the Aravalis. And over the years, the number of cases is declining. We are taking strong action in all cases of illegal mining,” said the official.
Activists, however, claimed small-scale mining continues to destroy several hillocks in the Aravalis. “We hope it reflects better enforcement and reduction in large-scale illegal activities,” Chetan Agarwal, a forest analyst.
Environmental activist Jitender Bhadana of Save Aravali, an NGO, pointed out, “Small-scale mining activities are still rampant in Faridabad forest areas.”





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