Ban mining,raze ‘illegal’ houses in Aravalli range,says SC panel

The Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee has stated in its additional report filed last week that it will treat the entire Aravalli range area as a prohibited zone for mining,barring specific locations,to ensure their environmental sustainability.

Written by Tannu Sharma | New Delhi | Published: January 20, 2009 12:12 am

The Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) has stated in its additional report filed last week that it will treat the entire Aravalli range area as a prohibited zone for mining,barring specific locations,to ensure their environmental sustainability.

Underlining that with duecoordination with the state government,it also wished to seek permission for preparing plans for state-controlled mining inexempt areas.

In its brief yet crucial report the committee,set up to look into environmentally sensitive matters,has also sought demolitions of certain colonies,farmhouses,banquet halls and other buildings. Identified as illegal constructions,these buildings are in areas such as Kant Enclave,Karmyogi Shelter Private Limited and Lake Wood View,among others.

The CEC also made a case for a direction to be issued towards closing down or revoking all leases of existing mining leases. “All existing mining leases should be permanently revoked and/ or the mines should not be allowed to be operated,” the committee submitted before the apex court bench,which in addition to Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan comprised Justices Arijit Pasayat and S H Kapadia.

The report came on a Supreme Court direction,dated September 1,2008,where it had ordered the CEC to furnish land-use maps and macro-plans in respect of Aravalli range areas in Haryana after it was pointed out that its previous orders were being openly flouted. The apex court had banned mining several years ago in the “delicate” zone of the Aravalli in Haryana,one of the oldest ranges in the world.

The CEC report placed before the court stated that a large number of farmhouses,colonies,buildings,banquet halls,engineering colleges and ashrams are located in areas notified under Section 4 and 5 of PLPA,or areas with forest cover. The CEC is now awaiting the apex court’s nod to undertake demolition of those “illegal” buildings identified. It has urged the court for a direction towards a time-bound demolition and rehabilitation of such areas to be taken by the Haryana government in a “time-bound manner”.

It has also submitted that “no sale/purchase of such lands should be permitted”.

Disagreeing with the state that large-scale demolition would create a law and order problem,the CEC was of the firm opinion that any permission granted earlier,for any non-forest use in such areas,should be immediately revoked by Haryana.

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