By Rashi Agarwal
The Aravalli Range is a range of mountains running approximately 692 km in a southwest
direction, starting in North India from Delhi and passing through southern Haryana, through
to Western India across the states of Rajasthan and ending in Gujarat. Mining of copper and
other metals in the Aravalli range dates back to at least the 5th century BCE.
In a shocking revelation, a Supreme Court appointed central empowered committee (CEC),
told the court earlier this week that 31 out of 128 hills in the Aravalli region in Rajasthan
have disappeared in the last 50 years due to a huge illegal mining industry.
The Supreme Court was compelled to give an order to stop illegal mining in a 115.34-hectare area in this
region within 48 hours.
A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta expressed shock on how the hills had
disappeared. It directed the chief secretary of Rajasthan to file an affidavit regarding
compliance of its order within this week and posted the matter for hearing on Monday,
“If you start removing all the hills, pollution from different parts of areas nearby NCR will
come to Delhi. This could be one of the reasons that we have so much pollution in Delhi. For
sake of few miners in your state, you are endangering the lives of lakhs of people in Delhi,”
the bench said.
When the top court was told that Rajasthan was getting a royalty of around Rs 5,000 crore
from mining activities, the bench said, “You (state) want royalty. You will get it but health
expenses for people of Delhi will be 10 times of your royalty.”
The state of Rajasthan has miserably failed to protect the hills, part of India’s diverse natural