The Supreme Court today sought response from the Centre and the Rajasthan and Haryana governments on allegations that large scale illegal mining and depletion of forest cover was taking place in the two states.
A bench of justices KS Radhakrishnan and JS Khehar issued notice on an application moved by NGO, Society for Awareness and Development, which alleged that the states were wilfully violating the apex court's earlier directions of March 8, 2005 and February 19, 2010 restraining all types of illegal mining and depletion of forest cover.
The petitioner claimed that on account of the illegal mining, about 16 labourers have died in blasting and other connected activities.
It cited one specific incident of 25 August, 2011 in Bhiwani tehsil when six people died and another incident of May 18 this year in which 10 people perished in illegal mining in village Choharpur, where bodies of only three labourers have been recovered so far.
According to the application, the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) had submitted a detailed report on January 4, 2010, about large scale illegal mining in the state but the state government chose to "ignore" such activities.
The CEC had observed that there is massive illegal mining taking place in the reserved forest area falling under Udhanwas village where at several places the hillock has been completely blasted out for the purpose of carrying out illegal mining.
The CEC, in its report, had also emphasised that large scale illegal mining was on account of lack of environment clearance in relation to thousands of mines operating in less than five hectares of land, the application said.