Supreme Court hears Karoonjhar hills excavation case

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A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed heard a petition against illegal excavation of precious stones from Karoonjhar hills of Nagarparkar on Monday.

A bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed heard the petition at Karachi Registry.

A massive excavation of Karoonjhar Hills has been underway to extract precious stones from the hills, petitioner pleaded in the court.

“Who is excavating Karoonjhar hills,” chief justice asked the petitioner. “The Mines and Minerals department is cutting the hills,” petitioner said.

“Whole Pakistan visits Karoonjhar hills. They are wiping out this place, cutting precious stones,” the top judge exclaimed.

The court adjourned further hearing of the case till Tuesday (today).

It is to be mentioned here that a division bench of the Sindh High Court (SHC) in November 2019 stayed excavation of stone in Karoonjhar hills of Nagarparkar while issuing notices to the federal secretary of natural resources, secretary of forest and wildlife, Frontier Works Organisation (FWO), secretary of mines and minerals and different marble companies as respondents.

Karoonjhar is a historical mountain of Tharparkar. The hills have been covered with world’s unique granite rocks and it constituted oldest rocks of earth’s crust and china clay.

The hills were home to animals, birds and rare species, including peacocks, deer etc. It was the only source of water for humans, birds, animals in Nagarparkar.

It also stood as a symbol of civilisation of indigenous communities and their rituals, culture, customs, traditions, folklore, songs, tales and thousands of years’ religious harmony.

For years the hills were under threat because of illegal cutting for sale of precious stone with the help of influential politicians and other quarters.

Civil society organisations have launched a campaign for years to get it declared a world heritage so that thousands-year old culture related to Karoonjhar could be saved.

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