Day 73 – Q 5.What are the ecological hazards that the Aravali has been exposed to by illegal mining? Discuss.
5. What are the ecological hazards that the Aravali has been exposed to by illegal mining? Discuss.
अवैध खनन द्वारा अरावली पर होने वाले पारिस्थितिक खतरे क्या हैं? चर्चा करें।
Recently, The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sent a notice to the governments of Haryana and Rajasthan on the deforestation in the Aravalli Hills — the reason behind increasing dust-storms and air pollution in Delhi-NCR. These storms led to a serious spike in levels of air pollution.
The Aravalli Range is a range of mountains running in a southwest direction, starting from Delhi and passing through southern Haryana, Rajasthan and ending in Gujarat. It helps keep temperatures in check and recharge groundwater, besides hosting unique flora and fauna.
But today, they are not just one of the oldest mountain chains in the world but also probably the most degraded.
Ecological hazards that the Aravali has been exposed to by illegal mining
- Forest Survey of India (FSI) report that confirmed continued illegal mining at more than 3,200 sites under the areas controlled by different states.
- The rain-induced erosion of mining areas brings nutrients as well as potential contaminants to adjoining agriculture tracts and the ecosystem.
- The protective belt is now facing disintegration due to the felling of trees to make room for urbanisation and mining projects.
- A survey by the Wildlife Institute of India in 2017 in south Haryana had shown that 12 vegetative gaps, which have appeared because of drifting of sand in the Aravallis, increases the risk of the area under it turning into an extension of the Thar desert.
- The great Indian Bustard, the state bird of Rajasthan is on the verge of extinction due to habitat loss and poaching.
- There is an urgent need to stop mining in the specified areas of the Aravalli hills, as Supreme Court has directed the Rajasthan government recently.
- Enforcing the Tree Act in Delhi and Haryana for controlling deforestation, and enforcing The National Conservation Zone (NCZ), as defined in the Delhi NCR Regional Plan 2021, which covers the entire Aravalli range.
- Protected status should be granted to the Aravalli ecosystem and an integrated Aravalli management agency should be established.
These are some measures which should be taken to holistically conserve the Aravalli range and protect its ecology and adjacent environment.