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What We Do

WHY DO WE EXIST?

Purpose of the Aravalli Bachao Citizens Movement is to raise awareness in the people about the importance of the Aravalli ecosystem and the threats it is facing and to put pressure on the government and the administration to protect these forests and hills from disappearing in all the 4 states of Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and Gujarat.

Aravalli Bachao has grown leaps and bounds since the group came together in February 2019 and has now become a nationwide movement with citizens, foresters, conservationists, journalists, environmentalists and climate change activists from all over India and other countries supporting the cause of saving one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world. Our group’s overarching demand is for the entire 700 km Aravalli range in the 4 North Indian states – Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and Gujarat to be declared a biosphere / protected reserve where no real estate, mining, any other industries, toxic landfills and waste to energy plants are allowed so North India’s critical wildlife corridor, climate regulator, green lungs, shield against desertification and water recharge zone can be saved from further destruction and we can leave a secure future for our future generations.

Citizens demand protection of their lifeline for clean air and water security

METHODS USED TO HIGHLIGHT ARAVALLI ISSUES

  1. Creating awareness through talks on various platforms, making films and writing blogs to raise support for the Aravallis.
  2. Organising forest friending events to increase connect of the people with the Aravallis.
  3. Mentoring of school and college students to raise awareness about the Aravallis in the younger generation.
  4. Engaging with politicians from different parties and bureaucrats in various government departments to raise issues regarding Aravalli protection.
  5. Networking with relevant stakeholders such as citizen groups, conservationists, policy makers, others across India and internationally regarding Aravalli issues.
  6. Running email & social media campaigns and change.org petitions to highlight various issues threatening the survival of the oldest mountain range in India.
  7. Organising on ground protests and nationwide tweetstorms demanding protection of Aravallis.
  8. Fighting legal cases for saving the Aravallis.
  9. Engaging with TV, radio and print media to highlight Aravalli issues.
  10. Collaborating with pan India citizens groups to stop deforestation and destruction of natural ecosystems across India.

NATIONWIDE CONNECT

Aravalli Bachao Group has been working closely with pan India forest, environment, youth, climate action citizens groups and organisations working to save our forests, wetlands, biodiversity in different geographies; on improving air quality & water security and protecting tribal & forest dwellers rights in various parts of India. We collaborate with groups such as Let India Breathe, Let Me Breathe, Fridays for Future India, Legal Initiative for Forests and Environment (LIFE), Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), My Right to Breathe, Save Aarey Movement in Mumbai, Save Mollem Movement & Rainbow Warriors in Goa, United Conservation Movement working for protection of Western Ghats in Karnataka, Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan working to Save Hasdeo forests, Dibang Resistance in Arunachal Pradesh, Yugma Network, Climate Action Gurgaon, Youth 4 Climate In, Climate Front India, Save Indian Wetlands Movement, Save Indian Mangroves Movement and many others.

Global days like the International Day of Forests, Earth Day, Wildlife Day, Environment Day etc are used to do nationwide tweetstorms to highlight threats to the Aravallis and other natural ecosystems in danger across India. This has helped create a lot of national and global awareness for saving the Aravallis and protecting India’s threatened biodiversity in other states.

MENTORING OF STUDENTS

Aravalli Bachao senior campaigners keep meeting new students in different schools and colleges to involve them in the Students 4 Aravallis team and get the youth to understand the critical need to work for protection of India’s natural ecosystems.

The Students 4 Aravallis team members have been learning how to use twitter effectively by using a handle some of them started to campaign for the Aravallis.

ARAVALLI BACHAO GROUP’S WORK IN 2019

HOW WE STARTED?

Aravalli Bachao Citizens Movement started with just a few citizens from Gurgaon, Faridabad and Delhi in early February 2019 who went to meet the Haryana Forest Minister and give him a petition asking the government not to amend the Punjab Land Preservation Act which would open 33% of Haryana state’s measly 3.6% forest cover for real estate. The amendment would leave no legal forests in the state of Haryana which has the lowest forest cover in India. As citizens living in one of the most polluted and water stressed regions in India, this was completely unacceptable to us. On 24th February 2019, more than 300 citizens from the National Capital Region descended at Khushboo Chowk flanked by the Aravallis near DLF phase 1 in Gurgaon to hold our first on-ground protest.

Below article in the Quint covers this first protest by the Aravalli Bachao Citizens Group.

https://www.thequint.com/my-report/save-aravali-citizen-protest-haryana-gurugram-plpa

CITIZENS PETITION THE HARYANA GOVERNMENT NOT TO ACT ON THE PLPA AMENDMENT BILL

The Honourable Supreme Court was aghast at the Punjab Land Preservation Act Amendment Bill passed by the Haryana State Assembly on 27th February 2019 and directed a stay order on its implementation on 1st March 2019.

School students accompanied the adults to go to the Haryana Bhavan in the 1st week of March 2019 to give a petition letter addressed to the Chief Minister of Haryana, Mr Manohar Lal Khattar to withdraw this regressive amendment bill that aimed to open 74000+ acres of our forests in Haryana i.e 60,000+ acres in the Aravalli hills around Gurgaon, Faridabad & the rest of South Haryana and 10,000+ acres in the Shivalik hills near Chandigarh in North Haryana for real estate development.

AWARENESS EVENTS FOR ARAVALLIS

Below link has a video called ‘Teenage Rebellion to Save Indian Forests’ made by Let Me Breathe in which Students 4 Aravallis team members express their views about the lack of attention being given to saving our forests in the election manifestos of political parties at the time of India’s ongoing Lok Sabha Elections in April-May 2019.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2058103447642249/permalink/2179974598788466/

School students associated with the Aravalli Bachao campaign highlighted the need to save the Aravallis in the various climate strikes they participated in throughout 2019.

Aravalli Bachao Citizens Group members spent the rest of 2019 doing many awareness events like forest walks & plogging sessions in the Aravallis to connect more people with the campaign. This video shows students and adults exploring the Aravallis and cleaning up the forest.

Aravalli Bachao Group members also spoke at many air pollution events in different cities of the National Capital Region to make people understand how important Aravallis are for life in North India to sustain.

ARAVALLI BACHAO GROUP’S WORK IN 2020

HIGHLIGHTING ILLEGAL ENCROACHMENTS IN ARAVALLIS

Aravalli Bachao group members along with forest experts and a few media people went into different Aravalli areas in Manger and Faridabad to photograph and film the illegal encroachments on a cold winter morning in early January 2020. Subsequently, the journalists questioned the district administration and highlighted this issue in the press. This is one of the articles covered by the media.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/concerned-citizens-take-stock-of-illegal-constructions-on-haryana-forest-land/article30553023.ece

Aravalli Bachao team made this film to show the modus operandi used by illegal encroachers in the Aravallis and how illegal constructions are eating away the oldest mountain range in India.

SILENT PROTESTS OUTSIDE TOWN HALL IN GURGAON

The year 2020 started with many urban and rural citizens including school and college students from NCR cities forming a human chain outside Town Hall in Civil Lines in Gurgaon holding posters and banners saying ‘Withdraw Punjab Land Preservation Act Amendment Bill 2019’, ‘Aravalli Bachao’ as Mr Manohar Lal Khattar’s (Chief Minister of Haryana) motorcade passed by on way to address his monthly grievance redressal meetings in January and February 2020. This article in the Hindustan Times captures one such protest.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/citizens-call-on-cm-to-save-the-aravallis/story-nmgHW0TKFtnvmb8DHaUhWK.html

CITIZENS’ SYMBOLIC FUNERAL PROCESSION MARCH

As the one year of the passing of the regressive PLPA Amendment Bill drew near… dressed in white attire, the citizens of Delhi, Gurgaon and Faridabad took out a symbolic funeral procession walk on 19th January 2020 to highlight the grave danger looming over the Aravalli forests. This protest was held a few days before the Haryana state assembly session. Sounds of “Withdraw PLPA Amendment Bill”, “Aravalli Bachao”, “Remove Illegal Constructions from our Forests” reverberated through the air as around 100 people consisting of school & college students and citizens from different walks of life marched from Sikanderpur metro station to MG road metro station and back in Gurgaon. This video by Pluc TV highlights citizens’ voices.

https://pluc.tv/episode/funeral-for-aravalli/

To show solidarity with the Aravallis, the citizens held hands and took a sacred oath to be the voice of the forests and the birds, butterflies, mammals, reptiles & insects that live in the forests. This article in the Times of India gives more details.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/gurgaon-residents-take-out-aravalli-ka-janaaza-to-protest-deforestation-in-the-aravallis/articleshow/73521753.cms

SILENT VALENTINE FOR THE ARAVALLIS

In a unique form of protest held on Valentine’s Day, 14th February 2020, college students from Delhi accompanied by a few adults from Gurgaon went to the Haryana Bhawan in New Delhi with a card and petition letter addressed to Mr. Manohar Lal Khattar, the Chief Minister of Haryana. The Valentine’s Day card made out of recycled newspaper in the shape of a green heart with a few leaves and twigs pasted inside to represent the Aravalli forest was given to the officiating Resident Commissioner for the Chief Minister of Haryana by the students. The card said, “Respected Chief Minister, A very Happy Last Green Valentine’s Day! Please don’t destroy our Aravallis. The future of your family as well as ours is in grave danger. We don’t need development at the cost of our trees. Please save our Aravalli forests!”

The petition letter signed by all the students and adults was given at the CM’s desk. This article in the Hindu captures this unique protest by the NCR students.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/a-valentines-day-appeal-to-save-aravalis/article30825223.ece

ARAVALLI CALLING EVENT

To mark the one-year anniversary of the passing of the disastrous Punjab Land Preservation Act Amendment passed by the Haryana government on 27th February 2019, more than 100 citizens from the National Capital Region came together to embrace the last remnants of the Aravallis on 1st March 2020. The event started with citizens forming a human chain on an encroached and flattened land, which used to be part of the Aravalli forest. Holding hands at the periphery of this encroachment, people showed their commitment to not let this encroachment go any further into the forest.

Inspired by Sunderlal Bahuguna and the women of Uttarakhand, people hugged the Aravalli trees re-enacting the famous Chipko Andolan of the 1970s, in a symbolic commitment of their love for the forest. People also recited poetry celebrating the life-giving Aravallis.

This short 2 min film captures citizens expressing their love for the Aravallis by hugging trees and reciting poetry.

Read more in this article by the Hindustan Times.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/gurugram/a-year-on-gurugram-residents-protests-demand-reversal-of-proposed-changes-to-law-protecting-aravallis/story-r9ESM6Zj1OfntuaVhqwSqK.html

VRIKSHAROPAN AND NATIVE PLANTING

On Raksha Bandhan day, women and children tied symbolic Rakhees to the trees using leaf veins taking a sacred oath to protect the Aravalli forests. The citizens also participated in a plantation drive organised by the Gurgaon forest department near Kholi Baba Mandir behind Suncity in Sector 54. Around 40 saplings of native Aravalli trees were planted.

STUDENTS PROTEST AT BANDHWARI LANDFILL IN THE ARAVALLIS

As part of the Global Climate Strike on 25 September 2020, a group of young urban and rural students of Gurgaon participated in a protest against the Bandhwari landfill in the Aravallis. Aged from 7 years to 20 years, the youngsters voiced their concerns on ground water pollution being caused by the landfill and how it is threatening the life of wildlife and people living in the vicinity. Below NDTV article highlights this protest by students to protect their green lungs and critical water recharge zone.

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/bandhwari-landfill-haryanas-mega-dump-and-its-threat-to-the-aravallis-2301069

NATIONWIDE TWEETSTORMS DONE IN THE YEAR 2020 TO HIGHLIGHT THREATS FACING THE ARAVALLIS

Citizens from India’s National Capital Region and forest, environment and climate action groups across India participated in these tweetstorms to raise demands for saving the Aravallis. Hashtags like #AravalliBachao #SaveOurAravallis #WithdrawPLPAamendment #RemoveBandhwariLandfill #EnforceSWMRules #NoWTEinAravallis were used.

This article in the Hindustan Times covers one such nationwide tweetstorm done for the Aravallis in December 2020.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/gurugram/citizens-wage-virtual-battle-to-seek-resolution-of-issues-at-bandwari-landfill/story-n4PfERIu2JNUUPJcf2irdJ.html

ARAVALLI BACHAO GROUP’S WORK IN 2021

CITIZENS PROTEST AGAINST HARYANA GOVERNMENT’S PLAN TO BUILD A WASTE TO ENERGY PLANT IN THE ARAVALLIS

The big mountain of trash on the Gurgaon – Faridabad road, now higher than the surrounding Aravalli hills witnessed the loud cries of “Remove this Polluting Landfill from our Aravalli Forest”, “If Waste Is Burnt Here, We Will Not Be Able To Breathe”, “Enforce Solid Waste Management Rules”, “Burning Mixed Waste Is Not A Solution”, “We do not want a Toxic Waste to Energy Plant in our Aravallis” by more than 60 adults and 40 children who had gathered at the Bandhwari landfill from the cities of Gurgaon, Faridabad and Delhi as well as the surrounding villages of Manger and Bandhwari on 24th January 2021. The theme of this campaign against the upcoming waste to energy plant is Green vs Black. The adults went to the protest dressed in green attire to show that our generation has been blessed to enjoy the beauty of nature whereas the children were all wearing black to signify the dark future that they will be inheriting as a result of the upcoming waste to energy plant which will spew out toxic gases into the already badly polluted air of NCR. Below video captures this citizens protest.

Below NDTV article gives more details on this protest.

https://www.ndtv.com/gurgaon-news/no-trees-left-gurgaon-residents-protest-against-waste-to-energy-plant-2357493

ARAVALLI BLACK DAY MARKED BY STUDENTS

Students 4 Aravallis team, the youth wing of the Aravalli Bachao Citizens Group did awareness sessions in Galleria market and Cyber city in Gurgaon on 28th February 2021 to mark the 2 year anniversary of the passing of the regressive PLPA Amendment Bill 2019 which seeks to legalise all illegal constructions in the Aravallis and destroy the measly 3.6 percent forest cover of Haryana. The students recited a poem and spoke to the people about the regressive PLPA amendment and it’s implications on people’s lives. They also highlighted the dangers of building a waste to energy plant in the Aravallis.

Hear the voices of the Students 4 Aravallis fighting to save the green lungs and critical water recharge belt of India’s National Capital Region in this video made by Pluc TV to mark the Aravalli Black Day.

https://pluc.tv/episode/are-we-losing-the-aravallis/

Below article in the Hindustan Times covers this protest by the students:

https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/gurugram-news/students-demand-protection-of-aravallis-withdrawal-of-amendment-to-land-act-101614533418512.html

CITIZENS PROTEST AGAINST HARYANA GOVERNMENT’S PLEA TO THE SUPREME COURT TO LEGALISE MINING

Ahead of the Supreme Court’s hearing to hear Haryana government’s plea to legalise mining that has been banned in the Aravallis in Gurgaon and Faridabad since 2002, Students 4 Aravallis team members along with senior campaigners from the Aravalli Bachao Citizens Movement went to the Haryana Bhavan in Delhi on 3rd March 2021 to give the Resident Commissioner a petition addressed to the Chief Minister. The petition stated the Aravalli Bachao Group’s objections against this regressive move.

This article in the Times of India, Delhi gives more details on this protest:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/mining-in-aravalis-will-spell-disaster-say-young-activists/articleshow/81319567.cms

Aravalli Bachao Citizens Group held a nationwide tweetstorm on 4th March 2021 along with forest and environment groups across India to say a resounding no to legalising mining in the Aravallis.

On 9th March 2021, Aravalli Bachao Citizens Movement in association with Let India Breathe launched an email campaign in which citizens from all across the National Capital Region and pan India have been emailing the Chief Justice of India and the Haryana government asking that mining in the eco sensitive Aravallis not be legalised. This below link has both the emails.

https://linktr.ee/Aravalli_Bachao

On 14th March 2021, the Students 4 Aravallis team organised awareness drives in Gurgaon to tell people what they stand to lose if mining is legalised again in the NCR Aravallis.

A group of students talking to people in Cyber hub about Haryana government’s move to legalise mining in the Aravallis

In April 2021, pan India environment groups like Aarey Forest, Climate Front India, Youth 4 Climate IN organised Insta lives with Aravalli Bachao team members to create awareness for the mining in Aravallis issue and get more citizens across India to send the emails to SC and Haryana government not to legalise mining.

REPORTING ON ILLEGAL MINING IN NCR ARAVALLIS

With trekkers who keep going into the Aravalli forests regularly, the Aravalli Bachao team visited 6 different locations in Gurgaon, Faridabad, Sohna, Nuh Aravallis from end March to July 2021 to document the rampant illegal mining activity. All these spots in NCR Aravallis are within 1 hour driving distance from HUDA City Centre metro station in the heart of Gurgaon. Complaint emails were written to the Haryana government and police officials were taken to the different illegal mining sites.

For more details, read this blog: 

ILLEGAL MINING IN HARYANA ARAVALLIS IN VIOLATION OF SUPREME COURT ORDERS

CITIZENS PROTEST AT BANDHWARI LANDFILL AFTER IT CAUGHT FIRE IN JULY 2021

Members of the Aravalli Bachao Citizens Group along with Citizens for Clean Air visited the landfill site located in the Aravalli forest on 12th July 2021 evening to protest the violation of all Solid Waste Management Rules that led to this inferno. Even 30 hours later, the fire had not extinguished. This Quint article gives more details:

https://www.thequint.com/news/india/bandhwari-landfill-fire-citizen-groups-urge-action-over-waste-mismanagement#read-more

ARAVALLI BACHAO TEAM MEETS THE HARYANA CHIEF MINISTER IN JULY 2021

2 members of the Aravalli Bachao Citizens Group attended the grievance redressal meeting that the Chief Minister of Haryana held at Apparel House in Gurgaon on 13th July 2021 and expressed anguish over the damage that the Bandhwari landfill is doing to the Aravalli ecosystem and the health of the people and wildlife in the vicinity. We told the CM that the waste to energy (WTE) plant that the Haryana government wants to build at the landfill site is not the right solution. Waste to energy plants have not worked anywhere in India as the Indian waste composition is not suitable for burning in a WTE plant. The Aravalli Bachao Group members told the CM that Gurgaon and Faridabad municipalities need to strictly enforce waste segregation at source, decentralised waste management (composting and biogas units in the premises of every bulk waste generator and at every sector / ward level) and dry waste recovery centres in every ward. This will take care of 75 percent of both the cities’ waste in a sustainable way and eliminate the need for a toxic landfill or a polluting waste to energy plant.

Hard copy of the Aravalli Bachao Group’s change.org petition having close to 30,000 signatures was handed over by the group members to the Chief Minister. This petition states the problem of waste mismanagement at Bandhwari landfill and gives sustainable waste management solutions for Gurgaon and Faridabad that have been arrived at after consulting with solid waste management experts across India. http://change.org/RemoveBandhwariLandfill

Aravalli Bachao team raises issue of Bandhwari landfill and gives solutions to sort the waste woes of Gurgaon & Faridabad in CM redressal meeting

ARAVALLI BACHAO GROUP OPPOSES EXPANSION OF WASTE TO ENERGY PLANT IN THE ARAVALLIS

Before the public hearing on 31 August 2021 for proposed expansion of waste to energy plant from 15 MW to 25 MW in the Aravallis, Aravalli Bachao Group organised Insta live talks with pan India environment & climate action groups such as Let India Breathe and FFF India to create nationwide awareness on why waste to energy is not a viable option for managing India’s waste.

On the day of the public hearing on 31st August 2021, braving the pouring rain and foul smell from the mountain of garbage in the middle of the Aravalli forest, nearly 200 residents of Gurugram, Faridabad, Delhi, and the villages of Bandhwari, Mangar, Gwal Pahari gathered to tell the authorities that they need to scrap this plan to make a polluting waste to energy plant. This video by the Quint captures the objections of citizens from different walks of life and the work of the Aravalli Bachao group in highlighting this issue.

This article gives more details:

https://www.thequint.com/my-report/gurugram-aravalli-bachao-waste-to-energy-plant-at-bandwari-landfill-citizen-objections

Along with Let India Breathe, Aravalli Bachao Citizens Movement launched this email campaign on the day of the Global Climate Strike on 24 September 2021 to save NCR’s lifeline: the Aravallis from the toxic impacts of a proposed waste to energy plant.

https://www.letindiabreathe.in/CancelWTESaveAravallis

PROTEST AGAINST HARYANA CM’S DECISION TO LAY FOUNDATION STONE 4 WASTE BURNING PLANT IN ARAVALLIS

On 10th December 2021, 50 citizens from different walks of life had gathered outside Vyapar Sadan building in Sector 14, Gurgaon where the Haryana Chief Minister was laying the foundation stone for the waste burning plant at Bandhwari landfill in the eco sensitive Aravallis in an online event. Citizens were protesting on behalf of 33500+ citizens who had signed on a change.org petition demanding sustainable waste management for Gurgaon & Faridabad and said a resounding NO to the Haryana government’s plan to construct a waste incineration plant in the Aravallis. The citizens including students wanted to urge the CM not to steal their future by putting up this plant when ‘waste to energy’ as a model has failed everywhere in India. Around 2:30 pm, the policemen swung into action, tearing up all the posters and shoving the protesters into a police bus that pulled up next to the group. Citizens were released after 3 hours once the ceremony was over. This detention of citizens on World Human Rights Day demanding their right to clean air and water shows the high handedness of the government authorities and worked to make the resolve of the citizens stronger. Below media article and blog gives more details.

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/environment/group-protesting-against-bandhwari-waste-to-energy-plant-detained-in-gurugram

EMAIL CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED TO OBJECT HARYANA GOVERNMENT’S MOVE TO REMOVE 20000 ACRES OF ARAVALLIS FROM NATURAL CONSERVATION ZONE

In association with Let India Breathe, the Aravalli Bachao Group launched this email campaign to save 20,000 acres of Faridabad Aravallis from being destroyed to satisfy the greed of real estate lobby and illegal land mafia.

https://www.letindiabreathe.in/SaveAravalliNCZ

Aravalli Bachao Citizens Group also organised a nationwide tweetstorm along with pan India forest and climate action groups and highlighted this attempt of the Haryana government to destroy the Aravallis.

ARAVALLI BACHAO GROUP’S WORK IN 2022

HIGHLIGHTING HOW TOXIC WASTE DUMPED IN THE ARAVALLIS IS PLAYING HAVOC WITH NCR’S CRITICAL WATER RECHARGE ZONE

In early January 2022, the Aravalli Bachao Group came to know that solid waste from the Bandhwari landfill was being dumped in mining quarries and protected forest areas in different locations in the Aravallis in Gurgaon and Faridabad. These mining quarries are the lifeline for water recharge in the Aravallis and should not have any waste lying in them. Aravalli Bachao Citizens Movement decided to get this dumped solid waste tested. We reached out to the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) for this. The CSE’s Environment Monitoring Lab team came down on the 14th of January 2022 and collected samples from the solid waste thrown in the Aravalli forest just a few metres after the toll near the Bandhwari landfill on the Gurgaon – Faridabad road. This waste had an extremely foul smell and noxious fumes were seen coming out of it. Report by the Centre for Science and Environment stated that the The concentration of toxic heavy metals in the solid waste dumped in many locations in the Aravallis was way above the safe limits. The level of chromium was 262 and that of nickel was 128, against the safe limit of under 50. Pathogens such as Fecal coliform and E.Coli were also found to be way above the prescribed standards.

In March 2022, the Aravalli Bachao Citizens Movement shared the CSE report from the Centre for Science and Environment with the government authorities. A few environmental activists also filed a case in the National Green Tribunal for this. Months later, till date, the authorities have not managed to get their act together and the toxic heavy metals, as shown in the CSE report are continuing to percolate into our groundwater aquifers, putting the health of 30 million people living in the National Capital Region at risk. This video and article by Quint gives the details.

https://www.thequint.com/my-report/bandhwari-landfill-in-gurugram-depleting-water-around-aravallis-govt-must-step-in#read-more

LEGAL CASE FILED IN NGT FOR ILLEGAL MINING IN 3 DISTRICTS OF HARYANA ARAVALLIS

Members of the Aravalli Bachao Citizens Movement had undertaken field visits in the Aravalli areas in Gurugram, Nuh and Faridabad around India’s National Capital Region from March 2021 to March 2022 and found illegal stone and sand mining happening in contravention of judicial verdicts and environment protection laws. In many locations, we found substantial portions of the hills mined and, in some instances, completely razed to the ground. On 12th of May 2022, we filed a legal case (Application No. 362/2022 Aravalli Bachao Citizens Movement Versus Union of India & Ors.) in the National Green Tribunal for illegal stone and sand mining in a total of 16 locations in the Aravallis in Gurugram, Nuh and Faridabad through the law firm Legal Initiative for Forest and Environment (LIFE). This blog gives details of the prayers in the legal petition and the court’s 1st order. Next date of hearing is in end August 2022.

Media coverage for this legal case:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/13-yrs-after-sc-ban-govt-panel-to-survey-aravalis-for-illegal-mining/articleshow/92049178.cms

https://thewire.in/environment/aravalli-ngt-illegal-mining-conservation

CAMPAIGN AGAINST REGRESSIVE NCR DRAFT REGIONAL PLAN 2041

Aravalli Bachao Citizens Movement along with Let India Breathe launched an email petition on 4th January 2022 objecting to the dilutions made in the new NCR Draft Regional Plan 2041 which if implemented will destroy more than 70 percent of the Aravallis and other crucial natural ecosystems in India’s National Capital Region consisting of Delhi, 14 districts in Haryana, 8 districts in Uttar Pradesh and 2 districts in Rajasthan.

https://www.letindiabreathe.in/AravalliBachao

The deadline to send objections and suggestions to NCR planning Board was 7th January 2022. In 3 days, more than 3220 citizens, ecologists, conservationists and environment organizations from across India such as United Conservation Movement from Bangalore fighting to protect the Western Ghats, Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan campaigning to save the Hasdeo forest in Central India, Rainbow Warriors from Goa raising awareness on land and forest issues, Vanashakti NGO from Mumbai fighting for environment causes in Maharashtra, India Greens Party sent emails to the NCR Planning Board, Ministry of Environment, the politicians and government authorities of these 4 North Indian states objecting to the provisions of this new regressive NCR Draft 2041 and giving suggestions to strengthen the same. This blog gives more details.

GOING FORWARD

Awareness about saving the Aravallis is on the rise and the citizens movement is growing strong not just in NCR cities but all over India with people in different cities joining the cause on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (@AravalliBachao). It remains to be seen if the government will declare Aravallis in all the 4 states as a protected ecosystem, withdraw the regressive Punjab Land Preservation Act Amendment Bill , cancel the plan to build a polluting waste to energy plant in the Aravallis, remove illegal encroachments and stop illegal mining to protect the oldest mountain range in India. Aravalli Bachao Citizens Movement will continue to remind them of their duty.

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