Rajasthan HC seeks mining report

Rajasthan HC seeks mining report

The Rajasthan High Court has sought a report from the state chief secretary about the steps taken against illegal mining near the Indian Air Force station in Jaisalmer.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Arun Kumar Mishra and Justice Kailsah Chandra Joshi, while hearing a PIL filed by Sabal Singh, has continued the stay on mining. It has sought an Action Taken Report from the chief secretary and has directed the collector to freshly measure the area.

The court has also warned of harsh action if their report or affidavit is found to be incorrect.

Sukesh Bhati, counsel of the petitioner, said the state government had banned  mining activities within the periphery of 900 metres of the Air Force station Jaisalmer. This was done in addition to the existing notified area in 2000 as directed by the Defence Ministry.

The state government, in a 2001 gazette notification, extended the ban to any sort of construction in the same area, which was, however, withdrawn after it issued yet another notification in 2007.

 "But taking shield of this relaxation to construction activities, the miners resumed mining in this prohibited periphery in connivance of the mining department," Bhati said.

The Air Force took up the issue with the district administration repeatedly citing imperilment of the high value assets installed at the station and threat to low altitude flights.

The matter gained greater seriousness in the light that some labourers working in these mines had been framed under National Security Act in the past.

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