The Aravalli water bodies: stepchildren of development

The Aravalli water bodies: stepchildren of development During the Supreme Court (SC) hearing on 18th of March, the court appointed Central Empowered Committee brought in notice of the apex court the condition of Badkhal lake. When counsel A D N Rao showed the satellite images of the lake to the justice Bench, then they were worried and commented that the lake bed is now suitable only for playing cricket. The SC has not given its final verdict on the future of mining of the lakes but the bench is no doubt worried about the status of degraded environment in the Aravalli hills and the neighbouring water bodies as a result of illegal and unplanned mining. The issue of the impact of mining on the water resources of the Aravalli has been the subject of litigation for almost 25 years when environmental lawyer, M C Mehta first filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against mining and stone crushing in the Aravallis citing the drying up of these water bodies in the area. In October 1996, the SC directed that

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