Supreme Court halts mining activities around Sariska Tiger Reserve

The Supreme Court on Wednesday banned all mining operations going on within 1 km radius of the Critical Tiger Habitat (CTH), a protected area of Sariska Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan.

The Bench of Justice BR Gavai, Justice Sandeep Mehta and Justice SVN Bhatti further directed the State of Rajasthan to formulate a closure plan or take necessary steps for compliance with its orders.

The Apex Court then listed the matter for further hearing in July.

The order was passed on an application seeking directions to the State of Rajasthan to stop illegal mining activities within 10 km area of Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary without approval of the National Board for Wildlife and within 1 km area of Sariska Tiger Reserve.

The plea claimed that multiple mining companies in Rajasthan were flouting various orders and directions issued by the apex court regarding mining activities in the Eco Sensitive Zones comprising the CTH areas of Sariska Tiger Reserve.

It alleged that various individuals and companies were carrying out illegal mining activities without taking approval of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) and Environmental Clearance (EC) to operate within or beyond the Eco-Sensitive Zone, thus violating the clear directions given by the Court over the past years.

Senior Advocate Atmaram Nadkarni appeared for the mining association, while the State of Rajasthan was represented by Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Aishwarya Bhati.

Advocate Parul Shukla appeared for the petitioner.

Advocate K Parameshwar assisted the Court in the capacity of an Amicus Curiae.

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