Despite the Supreme Court and Ministry of Environment prohibiting mining in the Aravallis, the mining mafia continues to chip away the rocky hills around Gurgaon and Faridabad.
On Saturday, HT found fresh evidence of mining near Behrampur village in sector 69, very close to the populated city areas. Freshly broken rocks and tyre marks of trucks and earthmovers were seen across acres near the village.
This comes even as a joint team of mining and forest departments had two months back arrested two men with a truck full of mined stones.
“The department prepared a damage report and a case was filed in the environment court in Faridabad. We have not heard any such incident since then,” said Vasvi Tyagi, Divisional Forest Of ficer (DFO), Gurgaon.
However, according to local residents, truckloads of rocks from the hills are being ferried out of the village at night for the past four months. Large scale construction activities are also going on in the vicinity.
The villagers also said, “We assumed the clearing was being done for further development and was legal. Other areas around our village towards the city are also being developed but that did not need excavating the hills.”
The recent mining has also been reported by several residents of Gurgaon city. A group of cyclists mentioned that over the past few months, the hills were being scraped at several places. The group also reported of a new road connecting the area to Mangar forest in Faridabad.
“I have been coming here regularly for the past three years and am shocked to see that the hills are being broken at several places that are difficult to reach and cannot be located if one drives past cursorily. It has happened over the winters,” said Sudhir Singh, a Gurgaon resident who walks in this area every day.
Now, the mining department sprung into action after HT reported the incident. The mining officer visited the spot with a police team and found fresh mining sites. However, no people or vehicle could be found. Forest officials also reached but could not find the site.
“We saw fresh tyre tracks which was also attempted to be cleared after moving a little into the forest. We will keep track of movement in this area for the next few days,” said Bhupinder Singh, mining officer, Gurgaon.