Rasik Ravindra
Geologist and Former Director,
National Centre for Antarctic and Oceanic Research,
Goa, India

Recent reports about the loss of parts of the Aravalli mountains along some stretches in Rajasthan and Haryana, as a consequence of rampant mining and unplanned urbanisation, have come as a shock. People from all walks of life are raising their voices to help save the mountains. The Aravalli Ranges play a crucial role in defining the catchment of river basins that recharge the depleting aquifers of plains in Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi, protecting the wild flora and fauna and arresting desertification. The need to protect and preserve the fragile mountain environment and associated ecosystem has reached a critical point as increasing air pollution and scarcity of ground water at shallow depths is making life difficult.

The present issue is an attempt to focus on concerns related to the vanishing Aravalli, drying up of water bodies in the region, loss of endemic biodiversity and increasing air pollution in and around Delhi, in an attempt to devise a holistic policy for sustainable development of this region. The laudable role of the judiciary in stepping in to try salvage the situation has been brought out at more than one place. The insight provided by Professor C R Babu, an environmentalist of repute, on the key role played by Aravalli has greatly added to the discourse.