Rajsthan: No more mining in areas of religious significance

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Ashok Gehlot

Jaipur : The Rajasthan government has banned mining in regions of religious importance in the state.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot made the announcement on Sunday during a meeting with a delegation of sadhus, mahants, public representatives and villagers from Pasopa and nearby villages of Bharatpur. He also condoled the death of Mahant Vijaydas and promised to fulfill all his demands.

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Mahant Vijaydas had recently immolated himself protesting the illegal mining in the state.

In view the seers’ demand, an in-principle consent had already been given by the government to ban all types of mining going on in the areas of religious importance, the chief minister said.

He further termed the demise of late Mahant Vijaydas an “extremely sad”.

Gehlot said instructions have been given by the State Government to stop all the legal mining activities in the said area. Simultaneously, this land has been transferred to the Forest Department.

In the past also, on the demand of saints, the legal mines running in the area were closed by the government and currently, process is on to close 46 legal mines and shift them elsewhere.

Agreeing that banning is a complicated process, they demanded its completion in two months, on which the government has assured positive action in this time frame.

Gehlot said that it takes time to convince the villagers of the area whose livelihood was dependent on mines, but still the work has progressed rapidly.

Tourism Minister Vishvendra Singh said that 84 development works have been identified by the teams of Tourism and Devasthan Department by visiting the areas like Adibadri and Kankanchal. These mainly include development of passenger facilities in Adibadri Dham, construction of Chhatri, renovation of Gauri Kund, rest houses for travelers etc. A survey has been conducted for these works and they will be completed soon.

Earlier, Mahant Shri Shivram Das of Adibadri Dham and newly appointed Mahant Shri Bhura Baba of Pashupati Nath temple thanked the Chief Minister for passing the order to convert the mining area into forest area immediately after the end of the strike.

The members of the delegation informed that immediately after the end of the sit-in on the instructions of the state government, the administration has issued approval for the construction of roads and reception gates in Pasopa and surrounding areas.

It also demanded protection of the hills of Brij region and batted for various development works at Pasopa in Bharatpur, mainly related to tourism and development prospects in the region.— IANS

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