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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Govt affidavit pitches for mining near Sariska park

By Rachna Singh, TNN | Nov 29, 2012, 02.45 AM IST JAIPUR: After categorically denying that there was mining near Sariska Tiger Reserve and claiming that nearly 40 mining leases were given 20-60 km away from the tiger reserve, the mining department has filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court- appointed panel requesting that the 'no-mining zone' shall be reduced to 100 metres from the current 1 km boundary of the reserve. If the apex court refuses to accept state government's contention, at least 123 mines will be closed down in the area. According to the affidavit filed on behalf of the state government before the Central Empowered Committee on safety zones (Eco-Sensitive Zones) around national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, Rajasthan is aggrieved by the eco-sensitive zone delineation. "As of now, there is no mining activity within the precincts of Sariska Tiger Reserve (STR). However, mining is continuing outside the STR with respect to nearly 123 mines in 229.34 hectares. It is only in selected areas where mining is continuing. The state government is seeking modification of the uniform one km eco-sensitive zone to 100 metres," reads the affidavit. In fact, the areas specified falls within the one km area of the STR. It extends from the eastern boundary of Berwa Doongri protected forests to western boundary of Baldeogarh protected forests up to Baldeogarh village. The other areas that the state government seeks exemption for are Jaisinghpura, Tilwad Main, Kalwad, Dabkan, Tehla, Nandu, Khariyawas, Chhoti Cheend, Mallana and the reserve forests of Dabkan. Earlier reports too had suggested that the leases granted by the state government in 2010 had gone to a few Haryana-based companies at villages such as Jaisinghpura, Malana, Govardhanpura, Palpura and Jamwaramgarh in the vicinity of Sariska tiger sanctuary.

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