Sindh High Court orders cancellation of granite quarry leases to protect Karoonjhar Hills

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The double bench of the Sindh High Court has issued a directive to the deputy commissioner of Tharparkar, instructing an immediate cancellation of all extraction and quarrying leases for granite and gravel from the Karoonjhar hills. The court’s divisional bench, located in Hyderabad and comprised of Justice Arshad Hussain Khan and Justice Mohammad Shafi Siddiqui, issued this order in response to a petition submitted by Advocate Shankar Meghwar. The petition aimed to safeguard the Karoonjhar hills against illegal mining activities that threaten their natural beauty.

The bench has commanded DC Thar Lal Dino Mangi to cancel all leases granted to mining firms, miners, and contractors within the next 24 hours. Furthermore, the DC has been summoned to appear in court in person on the same day, with all relevant lease and contract documents for mining activities.

In an effort to combat unlawful quarrying and extraction of granite stones from the hills, the double bench has also ordered that cases be registered against anyone found involved in such illegal activities.

Advocate Shankar Meghwar, in his petition, emphasized the cultural, heritage, and religious importance of the Karoonjhar hills. He requested a complete ban on all extraction activities across the Parkar region of the desert district, expressing concern that despite previous court orders, contractors and influential figures continued to extract stones for various construction projects.

Other lawyers, including Sajjad Ahmed Chandio, Ishrat Lohar, and Ghulam Mustafa Hingorjo, highlighted the significance of the hills and called for the preservation and protection of the entire region.

Members of the Karoonjhar Sujag Forum, including Allah Rakhio Khoso, Zulfikar Ali Khoso, Ghulam Mustafa Dal, Sagar Khaskheli, and others, welcomed the Sindh High Court’s orders. They urged the immediate cancellation of all leases issued to miners since the late 1980s to prevent further harm to the hills. The forum also expressed gratitude to Advocate Shankar Meghwar for his determined efforts in bringing the issue to the attention of the court.

Hanif Samoon is a senior journalist based at Thar/Badin and contributes reports from different districts of Sindh to Minute Mirror. He has won a number of awards, including the Agahi Award twice for his stories on health and child rights. He tweets @HanifSamoon1 and can be reached through email at