February 26, 2009 12:22:17 am
An NGO has approached the Supreme Court-constituted Central Empowered Committee against the proposed auction of new mining leases in Faridabad.
Shakti Vahini,which works for the protection of the Aravalli range,filed a petition on Wednesday asking for immediate action against the auction of quarries in two Faridabad villages.
The NGO says calling for the auction is a gross violation of a Supreme Court ruling dated February 13,2009,which ordered a status quo on the range.
In a public notice issued in Dainik Tribune on February 17,Director of Mining and Geology,Haryana government,invited parties for the auction.
In its petition,the NGO has said the advertisement mentions that the auction will take place on March 3. According to the notice,60.4 hectares of land in Khori Jamalpur and 49.37 hectares of land in Sirohi will be put up for bidders. The reserve price for Khori is set at Rs 11 crore and for Sirohi at Rs 90 lakh,and the lease will be valid till March 31,2011.
Ravikant,an advocate with the NGO,said: The CEC has certain powers to initiate action,required urgently in this case.
According to a CEC official,the Committee plans to move the SC for a stay on the auction. However,senior advocate and amicus curiae A D N Rao said: We have not decided yet; it is too early to say anything about what the CEC plans to do regarding the auction.
When asked if it was correct on the part of the Haryana government to call for the auction despite the SC order,Rao said: In the meeting,the government had stated that it will not initiate any step towards mining. It is incorrect on their part to invite fresh tenders,since this only proves that the petitions filed by various bodies and media reports are untrue.
The SC order on status quo stated: List the Aravalli Hills and Haryana Mining matters on board today on 18.03.2009 & 19.03.2009 (whole day) & 20.03.2009 at 2 pm (if necessary). Status quo as on today shall be maintained till then.
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