JavaScript must be enabled in order for you to use the Site in standard view. However, it seems JavaScript is either disabled or not supported by your browser. To use standard view, enable JavaScript by changing your browser options.

| Last Updated:06/07/2020

Latest News


DU college flouting mining ban? (Feb.)



Times of India, Delhi, Thursday 20th February 2014

NEW DELHI: The ban on mining of the Aravalis is being openly flouted on the premises of an academic institution in southwest Delhi, sources have said.

Even though the forest department cracked down and stopped the operations three days ago, it is being alleged that the damage has been done with precious blue and pink stones having been quarried away from right inside the campus of Delhi University's Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma College in Dhaula Kuan since November 2013.

Moreover, college sources have intimated that, although the corporation did not approve it as learnt through an RTI application, construction work is in progress on the campus. And, if this were not enough, the urban development ministry has levied a fine of Rs 5.37 crore on the college for misuse of land agreement in July 2013, sources said. The college authorities, however, denied all charges.

However, photographs as recent as January 24, procured by TOI, show large parts of the land being dug up and loose blue stone lying inside the college campus. In November 2013, advocate Amit Sethi had filed a complaint on behalf of Atma Ram Trust to the secretary, ministry of environment and forest, about illegal activities affecting the environment taking place in ARSD.

"Once we complained, the assistant inspector general of forests in December directed the additional principal chief conservator of forests to look into the issue and submit an action taken report. The mining activities stopped for about a week. When they resumed, I filed an RTI plea asking for what action had been taken ," Sethi said.

Finally, the mining works stopped about three days ago. Sources in the college said the forest department had written to the college to stop them. "But the damage has been done. The Aravali range which falls inside the campus has been dug up and more than 500 truckloads of valuable stones, which are the property of the government, were illegally smuggled out," Sethi said.

But the college principal, G K Jha, who took over in November, the time when alleged mining activities began, denied the charge. "No mining has been done. This is college property and we were just levelling the ground," he said. On the large are as being excavated and pillars erected, Jha claimed these are "just renovation work". The college is also being accused of violating construction rules.

Times View

Allowing conservation zones to be developed by mandating that land for the purpose may be given elsewhere makes no sense. Where these zones ought to be is not something that we can arbitrarily determine, it is determined by natural factors. This is not a zoo that can be shifted from one location to another at man's convenience. It is sad that short-term real estate considerations are allowed to trump long-term ecological sustainability is such a cavalier manner. Better sense should prevail and this move must be prevented from becoming a decision.