ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Continual Diminishing of the Aravalli Hills

Assessing Intergenerational Equity

The Aravalli range is considered the “lungs” of the polluted National Capital Region. The failure of Haryana and Rajasthan governments to rein in the miners despite the Supreme Court’s orders to preserve the hills, has resulted in severe degradation of the hills, causing many of them to vanish.

Spread across Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Delhi, the 692 kilometre (km) long Aravalli range is considered a prime source of construction-related minerals. However, the same range is also considered the “lungs” for the world’s most polluted air of Delhi–National Capital Region (NCR) (Dayal 2019). This multi-utility of Aravalli hills range, from the business as well as public policy perspective, has made the very survival of the range a continuous struggle. The south-west range of the hills that covers the region of Delhi–NCR (including Gurugram and Faridabad) is the most degraded forest range in India (Kohli 2004). This is shocking as the same south-west range is responsible for the groundwater recharge of the “millennium city” Gurugram and of the most industrialised city of Haryana, Faridabad.

Historically, it is said that the Aravalli range checked the spread of the Thar desert towards the Indo-Gangetic plains, serving as a catchment of rivers and plains (Habib et al 2017). It is worth noting that the Aravalli range also provides habitat to 300 native plant species, 120 bird species and many exclusive animals like the jackal and mongoose. For Haryana, having the lowest forest cover at around 3.59% of the total forest cover in India, the Aravalli range is the only saving grace, providing the major portion of its forest cover (MoEF 2017). But due to its overexploitation, the range is no longer an effective green barrier. If left untouched, the Aravalli range would be enough to preserve humidity and sufficient rainfall in the Delhi–NCR. However, the ever-increasing disappearance of the green cover has led to several droughts in this region over the past four decades (M C Mehta v Union of India and Others 2004).

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Updated On : 24th May, 2019
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