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India’s disappearing mountains

101 East investigates the impact of illegally mining India’s mountains as desperate residents take on powerful miners.

In northern and western India lies an ancient mountain range, the Aravallis, believed to be hundreds of millions of years old.

Stretching across almost 700km (435 miles), the mountains are home to rivers, a diverse range of trees and wildlife, and according to experts, they are the main barrier shielding millions of people from an expanding desert.

But these mountains are disappearing, ravaged by illegal mining carried out to feed New Delhi’s construction boom, prompting warnings of a looming ecological catastrophe.

101 East travels to the northwestern state of Rajasthan to investigate the assault on the Aravalli mountains.