In this picture you can see a hill or for that matter a leftover of it. This is in Rajasthan, less than 200 kms from national capital- Delhi, as well as the state capital- Jaipur, on way to my native village in Sikar district of Rajasthan. It can be very safely said that in few months from now, this hill will cease to exist. Hence I keep wondering, was it an unwanted structure! It gave life, it is evident from a single tree still lurching on the top. But then how long? Mining mafia is flattening them all- one by one.
My little village, with a small history of itself, was surrounded by hills. There used to be a small lake. Many of us had our first swimming lessons in this lake. But, today this lake is… well photo (below) says it all.
In earlier days, the adjoining hills used to carry many streams that will flow into the lake. But stone mining and stone crushers have cut off the lifelines of this lake. Its almost dead. Now no streams flow into this lake. These hills also used to have a bit of wildlife. They are all now gone as well.
People say that with Supreme Court of India getting strict over mining in Aravali hills in NCR region, all illegal miners shifted there base to adjoining areas of Rajasthan. With a lax and corrupt system in place it was relatively easy for them. So in villages like this where people still suffer because of poor roads, the dumpers carrying stones are running amok.
My village is indeed beautiful. Even today we have probably more number of peacocks then the human population. I still remember the childhood summers spent there, when we will invariably wake up in the morning with a peacock scream and first thing our eyes will see is a dancing peacock in full glory right in front of us. But…
Most of the part of the village uphill is now deserted, people have moved down to be as much close to water supply as possible. With land going barren and younger generation migrating to the cities, who will like to live here anymore!
While returning from the village I could see the same scenes replicated everywhere. See, how brutally these hills are being assaulted and a crusher has been mercilessly inserted in its belly. How long will the beauty in the foreground remain intact? Sooner than later, whole topography of the area is going to change drastically.
Saddened with impact of this greed on our ecosystem, I kept wondering- Whether we need these hills anymore?