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Girnar sanctuary mining case has received very harsh comments from the High Court in Gujarat. The court commanded to stop all illegal mining activities in the Girnar sanctuary area and ordered that the trespassers be dealt with strictly. The high court of Gujarat also commented that “We cannot afford to play with wildlife and environment”.

Mining has the biggest impact on animals in demolishing animal habitats. Besides, we can restore habitats through proper reclamation of mines. Mines may last for 20-100 years.

All over the world, mining imparts erosion, sinkholes, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, use of water resources, etc. Mining is a dangerous activity, whether for large-scale industrial mining or small-scale artisanal mining. Not only the accidents but exposure to dust, toxins and the working stress of miners raise the range of diseases.

Mining affects plants and animals by destroying, fragmenting, degrading natural habitats, releasing toxins and changing the land use in mined regions.

Miners suffer from many respiratory and skin diseases like asbestosis, silicosis and black lung disease. Mining can have a big impact on humans with the pollutants that end up in the water, which can cause poor water quality.

Modern mines and abandoned mines handle environmental harm throughout the West. The main impact of mining and oil development on the ecosystem is the changing of the water regime, especially lowering the water table and exhaustion of groundwater. These effects may cause enlarged salinisation of the soil and erosion, which indirectly leads to a decrease in vegetation and wildlife species.

Last year also high court ordered forest officials and the Junagadh district authorities to stop these activities instantly. On Friday, advocate Girish Das had submitted proof as videography and photographs showing that illegal activities are still not stopped even after the high court’s order. But officials said that illegal activities had stopped just a week ago. On hearing this, the bench of Justice J B Pardiwala and Justice V D Nanavati is asked to look into the case and take action accordingly.

The PIL has complained that these activities were being carried out in the Girnar Reserved Forest in Junagadh and Bhesan Taluka. The solicitor cited 2012 government alerts and regulations issued by the High court forbidding mining in these areas.

Singhal Bhoomi Pawan

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