New Delhi, Apr 18 (UNI) Taking a serious note of 'reckless mining' in Bharatpur area of Rajasthan, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad has dashed off a letter to state Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, saying the sacred areas associated with Lord Krishna were being ''blown off by using dynamite'' in Braj hills.
Mr Prasad, who recently visted the area, said he was pained to learn about destruction of the Braj hills of heritage importance by the reckless mining in Bharatpur district.
''It is a matter of great concern that the sacred 'leela-sthalis' (places of pastime) of Lord Krishna are being blown off by using dynamite. All this has caused tremendous resentment and a feeling of anguish among the Brajwasis and millions of Lord Krishna devotees all over the world,'' he said.
Pointing out that these hills are associated with numerous pastimes of Lord Krishna and find a description in the Hindu scriptures, Mr Prasad said the emotional and religious sentiments of millions of Hindus were attached to these holy hills.
''Millions of devotees, who go there every year to do 'parikarma' and pay their obesiance to these hills, are deeply hurt to see the devastation of these centres of devotion,'' the letter said.
The Railway Minister also drew Ms Raje's attention to the fact that indiscriminate mining had caused havoc to the ecological balance of the region.
''A substantial part of the regional wildlife along with the flora and fauna has already been destroyed. These hills play an important role in checking the spread of desert areas of Rasjasthan towards the Eastern side,'' he said, adding that if the destruction of these areas continued unabated, it would lead to the expansion of desert areas right up to the Yamuna river.
Mr Prasad further pointed out that these hills form part of the Taj Trapezium Zone and the Golden Triangle of Delhi, Jaipur and Agra, which offer a potential source of tremedous revenue generation through religious and eco-tourism if the hills are protected and developed on these lines.
In this connection, he referred to a report of the Archaelogical Survey of India (ASI), which has recommended a complete ban on the mining in Braj area. ''The Rajasthan High Court has also given directives in this regard but the mining activity is still going on,'' he alleged in the letter.
Mr Prasad also mentioned the abduction and killing by the mining mafia of an activist of the 'Braj Rakshak Dal', which has been carrying on an agitation for the last two years for preservation of sacred spots in the Braj region.
''An FIR was lodged in this regard. This case needs to be thoroughly investigated to punish those who are involved in this heinous murder,'' he said.
Mr Prasad requested the Rajasthan Chief Minister to initiate measures to immediately stop all forms of mining and stone crushing activity in the sacred Braj region to protect these hills ''as they have a great religious, historical and ecological significance and take all possible measures to restore the grandeur of Braj.'' UNI SKS VD RAI1733