For 2 Haryana villages, illegal mining continues to be major source of income

  • Snehil Sinha, Hindustan Times, Gurgaon
  • Updated: May 22, 2015 00:56 IST

When the administration is inactive, illegally mined stones are dumped in around 200-300 trucks and transported out of the mining sites each day. Mining is the chief employment for men in the local villages of Kharak Jalalpur and Bhango.

About Rs 1,500-2,000 is paid for each dumper. The earnings from each site are around Rs 25,000 every day and Rs 7-8 lakh per month.

If the money is divided, every household earns about Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 a month. The amount is hardly enough for families that have an average of 7-10 members.

The village has a majority population of Meos (Muslims from Mewat).

Sources from the village said several households had also lost their sons to the mining business. Accidents during blasts are common where men are often buried under falling rocks.

The sarpanch of Kharak village also lost two brothers to mining.

But the community continues with the business as there is no other alternative. Often the entire village is involved in mining, the chief source of employment and income, with the village sarpanch heading the operation.

“We can’t do anything else as this is what we have always done. We do not know any other jobs and this is the legacy of our forefathers that we carry. However, it is more difficult to do business now,” said a villager from Kharak.

The villagers continue to carry the burden of generations when the business was legal and easier. Unlike mining in Mewat, it is not as organized in Gurgaon or led by politically motivated leaders.

Mining casualty

A lake spread across acres in Raisina village of Gurgaon has been reduced to nothing but dirty water now, hardly two-feet deep.

The lake — that had more than 50-feet deep water till last summer — is virtually dry now.

The water was lost when it was turned into a mining site six months ago.

Local residents say that the lake was a water recharge zone with clear water in an area where the ground water level is deeper than 1,300 feet.

Village locals also believed that the water had medicinal properties.

Recently, villagers tried to install a borewell in Kharak, a village that is facing acute water shortage due to the drying up of the lake. However, they gave up after water was not available even after digging up to 1,300 feet.

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