Sindh’s proposed auction of Karoonjhar mountains

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Sindh’s proposed auction of Karoonjhar mountains

The Sindh Department of Mines and Minerals has recently announced its decision to auction over 5000 acres of the Karoonjhar Mountains, located in the Tharparkar district of Sindh, for granite quarrying. The advertisement inviting bids for the mining lease of granite in Nagarparkar, under the Sindh Mines and Minerals Act, 2021, and Sindh Mines and Minerals Governance Rules, 2023, has been met with strong opposition from local residents and politicians.

Among those expressing concerns is the Special Assistant to Chief Minister Sindh, Arbab Lutfullah, who represents Tharparkar in the government. Lutfullah passionately opposes the auctioning of the Karoonjhar mountains, emphasizing that they hold significant historical, ecological, geographical, and cultural importance. He describes the majestic mountains as not just a collection of stones but a treasure trove of heritage. Furthermore, he emphasizes that the site is not only a tourist attraction but also houses sacred places revered by people of various faiths.

Echoing Lutfullah's sentiments, Special Assistant to Chief Minister on Human Rights, Surendar Valasi, also hailing from Tharparkar, opposes the auction of the historic Karoonjhar Mountains. He highlights that the reports of auctions have ignited public ire and sentimental protests due to the deep spiritual attachment the people of Thar have to these majestic mountains. 

Valasi adds that the local community, including political and social workers, is unanimously against the auctioning of any part of the glorious hills, which hold thousands of years of history and millennia of pilgrimage traditions.

Both Lutfullah and Valasi are urging the Minister for Mines and Minerals to reconsider the decision and cancel the auction immediately. Instead, they propose the recognition of Karoonjhar as a World Heritage Site to safeguard its beauty and heritage.

In conclusion, the decision by the Mines and Minerals Development Department to auction the Karoonjhar Mountains for granite quarrying has triggered widespread concern among the local community and political representatives. 

The Karoonjhar Mountains are seen as a mesmerizing wonder and an ancient heritage site of immense spiritual and cultural significance. Calls to halt the auction and preserve this natural treasure are intensifying, with appeals for an open katcheri at Karoonjhar to address the serious grievances of the Tharparkar locals. As the situation unfolds, the fate of this cherished landscape remains uncertain.

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