Contempt petition in SC over illegal mining in Aravalli hills

Tribune News Service || Faridabad, March 25, 2019

The mining mafia is active in the fragile Aravalli region in the district despite a ban on such activities. A local lawyer has filed a contempt petition in the Supreme Court alleging unabated mining and construction activities in the Aravalli hills in the Surajkund area.

“Mining of stones on hundreds of acres of forestland covered under the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA) for use in construction works has been going on unchecked. The authorities concerned have failed to check illegal mining, posing a threat to Aravalli hills and the green cover,” claims LN Parashar, a senior lawyer. “The ban imposed by the Supreme Court several years ago was being flouted openly, as large-scale mining is noticeable,” he said. Boards stating stones and construction material available for sale could also be seen.

“One such board was noticed on the main Surajkund road when I along with my team toured the area yesterday,” claimed Parashar. “While one truckload of raw stone is available for Rs25,000 to Rs30,000, a truckload of crushed stone material (used in construction work) costs between Rs45,000 and Rs50,000. An eight-tyre Hyva truck can carry up to 50 tonnes of stone material at one time. A minimum of 30 to 40 truckloads of mined material was being stolen and supplied illegally from here every day,” alleged Parashar, who filed a contempt petition in the Supreme Court on March 13.

The Chief Secretary and the Deputy Commissioner have been made party in the case.

Sanjay Sabharwal, who was the Mining Officer in the district till March 10, claimed that he had not received any complaint from Parashar. He, however, said that one or two complaints of illegal mining were lodged at his office every month in 2018. Sabharwal’s successor could not be contacted.