Aravalli Range

Aravalli Range


The recent Supreme Court order aims to address  rampant mining activities in the Aravalli Hills and safeguard the fragile ecosystem of the Aravallis.

GS-02 GS-01 (Polity, Physical Geography)

Issue at Hand:

  • Illegal and unregulated mining practices have inflicted severe damage on the Aravalli ecosystem, posing a threat to biodiversity and environmental stability.
  • Inconsistent definitions of the Aravalli range across different states have further complicated efforts to regulate mining activities effectively, exacerbating environmental concerns.

Key Highlights:

  • Ban on New Mining Leases: The Supreme Court has imposed a ban on the issuance of new mining leases or lease renewals in the Aravalli region spanning Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Gujarat. This measure aims to curb further environmental degradation caused by unchecked mining activities.
  • Impact on Existing Leases: Existing valid mining leases are not affected by the ban, ensuring continuity for ongoing mining operations. However, stringent regulations and monitoring mechanisms are likely to be imposed to mitigate environmental risks.
  • Scrutiny and Approval Process: States are permitted to process mining lease applications within the Aravalli region. However, final permission for mining activities requires approval from the Supreme Court, ensuring stringent scrutiny and adherence to environmental norms.
  • Formation of Committee: To address the challenge of inconsistent definitions of the Aravalli Hills, the Supreme Court has constituted a committee tasked with establishing a unified definition of the Aravalli range across the concerned states. This initiative aims to streamline regulatory efforts and enhance environmental protection measures.


  • Ecological Preservation: The Supreme Court’s order holds significant importance in safeguarding the ecological integrity of the Aravalli Hills, a vital habitat for diverse flora and fauna. By imposing restrictions on mining activities, the order seeks to prevent further damage to the fragile ecosystem and promote biodiversity conservation.
  • Sustainable Mining Practices: The ban on new mining leases encourages the adoption of sustainable mining practices, minimizing environmental degradation and preserving natural resources for future generations. It underscores the importance of balancing economic development with environmental conservation to ensure long-term sustainability.
  • Policy Framework: The Supreme Court’s intervention highlights the need for a comprehensive mining policy that addresses environmental concerns while facilitating responsible resource extraction. By establishing clear guidelines and regulatory mechanisms, the order aims to promote responsible mining practices and mitigate the adverse impacts of mining on the environment.

Aravalli Range:


  • It is one of the oldest fold mountains globally, spanning 800 km from Himmatnagar in Gujarat to Delhi, crossing Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Delhi.
  • It is divided into two main ranges – Sambhar Sirohi Range and Sambhar Khetri Range in Rajasthan, extending approximately 560 km.
  • Geological Formation: Result of orogenic movement, formed by folded crust due to the convergence of tectonic plates.
  • Historical Significance: Historically acted as a barrier, preventing the spread of the Thar desert towards the Indo-Gangetic plains.
  • Biodiversity: Rich in biodiversity, home to 300 native plant species, 120 bird species, and various animals like jackals and mongooses.
  • Environmental Impact: Serves as a barrier during monsoons, nurturing sub-Himalayan rivers and protecting north Indian plains from cold westerly winds in winters.
  • Groundwater Recharge: Functions as a groundwater recharge zone, absorbing rainwater and replenishing groundwater levels.
  • Ecological Hazards: Illegal quarrying has led to the disappearance of hill ranges, loss of flora and fauna, and the drying up of rivers.
    • Mining contributes to air pollution, particularly Respirable Particulate Matter (RPM), impacting the Delhi-NCR region.


The Supreme Court’s order to curb mining activities in the Aravalli Hills underscores the importance of environmental conservation and sustainable development. By prioritizing ecological preservation and promoting responsible mining practices, the order sets a precedent for balancing economic growth with environmental protection. It is imperative for all stakeholders to collaborate and ensure the effective implementation of the order to safeguard the fragile ecosystem of the Aravalli region for future generations.