The Gujarat High Court has directed to stop all illegal mining and quarrying activities in reserved forest areas of Girnar, Junagadh, following a public interest litigation (PIL) highlighting the issue.
The directive on December 11 came on a petition moved by a Junagadh resident and environment nature lover and RTI activist, Sanjay Bhikhubhai Kapadiya through advocate Girish Das.
The PIL highlighted that “illegal mining and blasting activities” were taking place in Chhodvadi village in Bhesan block of the district, which was barely 700-800 metres away from the Girnar wildlife sanctuary. While local authorities were informed of the same, no effective action was taken to stop such activities.
This notification was issued with an objective of “long term protection and conservation of the Asiatic lions and also the rare and endangered biological diversity,” noted the division bench hearing the matter.
“The notification states that it is necessary to conserve and protect the area around the protected area of Girnar Wildlife Sanctuary as an eco-sensitive zone…,” added the court.
The court issued notice to respondent government functionaries, including additional chief secretary of forest department, local prant officer, mamlatdar, collector and superintendent of the police, returnable for January 25.