Mining threat looms over Sariska tigers

Jaipur: Putting a question mark on the ambitious Tiger conservation project in the Sariska Tiger reserve, the Rajasthan government has approved 40 new mining leases in the Aravallis.

The fate of big cats, about which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had expressed concern, hangs in balance following the controversial move by the Congress government in the state. Sariska has a total of five tigers – relocated from the Ranthambore national park.

As per a report published in a newspaper Thursday, the government has given its green signal to mining in the sensitive zone on the premise that the Aravalli range is less than 100m in height, which is not considered a hill as per state government norms.

Importantly, the Supreme Court had banned all sorts of mining/quarrying activities in the Arvallis in neighboring Haryana.

The news report, quoting Y K Singh Chauhan, conservator of forests, ministry of environment and forests, further says that approval of the licenses is indicative of the extent of the reach of the mining lobby and is a gross violation of the Forest (Conservation) Act 1980.
If corrective actions are not taken soon, the national animal roaming freely in the beautiful Sariska Reserve may soon become a rare site.


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