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SC mining ban

Jaipur, Nov. 26: The Supreme Court order banning all mining activity in the Aravalli Hills of Rajasthan and Haryana has not only sent the mining industry into panic, but also caught the Rajasthan government off-guard.

The apex court gave its verdict on October 30, two days after receiving the second monitoring report of the Centre-empowered committee, but the state administration came to know about it only a couple of days ago when leaders of the mining industry approached the government.

Though the committee’s report deals with “illegal” mining in the Aravalli Hills, the Supreme Court — in what the industry as well as the state government call a blanket order — banned all mining activities in the region spread across 14 districts of Rajasthan and areas of Haryana contiguous to Delhi.

The apex court has instructed the chief secretaries of Rajasthan and Haryana to “ensure that no mining activity in the Aravalli Hills is carried out, especially, in that part which has been regarded as forest area protected under the Environment (Protection) Act”.

The secretary general of the Federation of the Mining Associations of Rajasthan, A.S. Mathur, said it had decided to move the Supreme Court, pleading that the industry had no objection in banning illegal mines as most of the mining was going on with permission from the government.

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