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Petitioner pleads with Rajasthan High Court to stay mining activities in Adi Badri and Kankhachal Hills

Socio Legal Corp

Written by Vidisha Mathur

In the recent petition of Mahek Maheshwari v Union of India and Others, the Rajasthan High court in a notice stated that the hills of Adi Badri and Kankhachal are an indispensable part of the Braj region, which is venerated by devotees of Lord Krishna.

The petitioner has pleaded before the Jaipur Bench to stay the mining activities in the aforementioned hills. The court seeks a reply from the Central and State government regarding the plea to prohibit mining in such religiously significant hills.

Though it was contended that the hills in question are not protected as a forest area, as they were excluded when their adjoining sacred hills in Deeg and Kaman tehsil of the Bharatpur district were given such a status in 2009; the petitioner argued that the Adi Badri and Kankhachal hills and the Braj range is technically the same areas that the state has vowed to protect. The State has also produced an affidavit promising to protect the area before the National Green Tribunal. In 2012, the district collector had recommended that the area be declared protected as well, and in 2021, the Chief Minister had assured the same.

It was also pleaded to the bench, constituted by Justice Manindra Mohan Shrivastava and Justice Shubha Mehta, that the hills were religiously and archeologically important as several ancient scriptures and literature evidence them as the playing field of Lord Krishna.

The petitioner also observed that local residents of the Mungaska and Samshika Villages of the Pahadi Tehsil were menaced due to the mining, as they faced health, occupational and social problems. The locals are experiencing lung and chest related diseased that are associated with allergies to pollution or ecological disorder.

Although, the miners have the permissions from the government, they are not abiding by the guidelines and norms in their activities. The petitioner contends that there is a ‘clear nexus’ between the Rajasthan government and the mine lease-holders and the illegal minors; and that the state is not stopping the mining activities for it gets a pay-off from it.

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