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Illegal mining in Satna: Lord Rama's exile place is on the verge of extinction

Saji Thomas, DNA   |  Nov 19, 2012, 05:17AM IST
Bhopal: Rampant illegal mining has pushed the Siddha Pahad (hillock) in Satna district on the verge of extinction, according to a lawyer Natyanand Mishra who plans to move to the high court against the destruction, having been unable to move the state government to action through his numerous communications in this regard. The place has a mythological significance as it was here that Lord Ram believed to have pledged to eliminate the demons from the earth. 
 
"This is just a tip of the iceberg," Mishra told the DNA. He lamented that even after several communications to the district administration and the office of chief minister no action followed to curb illegal mining. 
 
The government had allowed mining near Siddha Kotar adjacent to Siddha Pahar until 2008. But even after the expiry of the mining lease, illegal mining continued rampantly in the area that partially damaged the mountain. The government has also given permission for mining bauxite near the Sarbhanga ashram believed to be of great seer Sarbhang whom Lord Ram met there during his 14-year exile. The mining permission is valid till 2020.
 
"The illegal mining has destroyed many other important religious places associated with Lord Ram during his eleven and half years stay of the exile," said the lawyer. He is now preparing to move the MP high court to seek protection of these places of religious importance.
 
The illegal mining is going on there even after Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan had announced to protect these places of religious importance in November 2007 and made a proposal of Rs 560 lakh. 
 
“The announcement covered developing Ram Path Gaman (roads on which Lord Ram traveled during his exile). But illegal mining is eating everything up. The day is not far off when these places of religious importance will be a thing of past,” he lamented.
 
“It is unfortunate that the government is not serious about protecting our religious treasures”, Shivand Guru Maheshandji, a seer with Niranjni Akara decried. 
 
Satna collector KK Khare confirmed to the DNA about existence of illegal mining in these areas, saying “I had closed down 28 illegal mines and carried out effective searches to put an end to it.”
 
The collector also promised to look into it again. 
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