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Aravalli Hills: ‘Supreme’ ban on mining in Aravallis, SC warns Delhi-Haryana-Rajasthan-Gujarat

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Supreme Court bars fresh mining leases: The Supreme Court (SC) has taken a big decision to save the environment. The Supreme Court has said that the hills of ‘Aravalli’ should be protected in every situation. The court has directed Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and Gujarat not to allow any kind of mining activities in the hills till further orders. The bench said that its order would not be construed as in any way prohibiting legitimate mining activities which are already being carried out in accordance with valid permits and licences.

Justice B.R. Gavai and Justice A.S. “We are passing this order for all the four states (through which the hill chain passes),” the bench said, making it clear that the order is limited only to mining in the Aravalli hills and its ranges.

Until further orders, however, all the states where the Aravalli range is situated shall be free to entertain applications for grant of mining leases and proceed further and renew them… But as defined in the FSI (Forest Survey of India) report, no final permission will be given for mining in the Aravalli hills.”

The court noted that a report submitted by the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) has pointed out various illegal mining activities carried out across the state of Rajasthan and also gives district-wise details with respect to the area under illegal mining.

It found that one of the key issues was with regard to different definitions of Aravalli hills and ranges adopted by different states. The bench ordered the constitution of a committee to arrive at a uniform definition of the Aravalli hills and ranges.