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To: HARYANA Government
SAVE ARAVALLI HILLS FROM DESTRUCTION
The honourable Supreme Court has banned mining in Haryana Aravallis in 2002 and 2004, and concerned with the devastation caused, in 2009, extended the ban on mining in an area of 448 km2 covering Aravalli range in Gurgaon, Faridabad and Mewat districts. However, increasing pressure of the construction activities around the National Capital Region has pushed up the demand for construction materials which has led to large scale violations, forcing the Supreme Court to ask both the states of Rajasthan and Haryana to file a report on the implementation of its earlier orders and warn the states that contempt proceedings would be initiated if these states failed curb illegal mining in the Aravallis. Despite all this, illegal mining activities continue in the region.
We ask the Chief Minister of Haryana that the following actions be taken to protect the Aravalli range:
1. Take active measures to stop illegal mining in these areas as per Supreme Court judgement.
2. Recognize entire extent of Haryana Aravallis as deemed forest as directed by the honourable Supreme Court.
3. Declare the Haryana Aravalli, Mangar Bani and adjacent areas as a protected area.
4. Identify the Mangar Bani fully, include it in the Sub Regional Plan of Haryana NCR and extend its buffer to link to Asola Bhatti Sanctuary.
Why is this important?
The Aravalli Range is a range of mountains in western India running approximately 800 km in a northeastern direction across Indian states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi. Aravalli is the oldest mountain range in India. Due to mining in earlier years, this area has been ravaged beyond repairs. Due to a SC judgement, there is ban on mining in this area. Still, there have been numerous reports of illegal mining.
• The Aravallis are ecologically very significant, and form the catchments of rivers and nallas that originate from the hills and irrigate the plains.
• The Aravallis have also been identified as an important groundwater recharge zone and are very important to the future groundwater security of south Haryana towns like Gurgaon and Faridabad, and provide sweet drinking water to millions of people.
• The Aravallis also consist of unspoilt forests like the Mangarbani which are home to close to 300 native plant species, 120 bird species and many animals (jackal, neelgai, mongoose).
• The Aravallis provide the only major forest cover in the state of Haryana which has a total forest cover of just 3.59%, the second lowest among Indian states.
It is high time that the state recognized the importance of this region and took steps to protect it.