West Bengal: Green hopes run dry as rampant mining goes unchecked

sand-miner-mumbai
Sand miners, India.
“Sand is the second most consumed natural resource, after water. The construction-building industry is by far the largest consumer of this finite resource. The traditional building of one average-sized house requires 200 tons of sand; a hospital requires 3,000 tons of sand; each kilometer of highway built requires 30,000 tons of sand… A nuclear plant, a staggering 12 million tons of sand…” Captions and Photograph by © Denis Delestrac

Excerpts;

Rampant illegal sand mining and excavation of boulders from river beds are threatening the ecology of several rivers and all the three major river basins in West Bengal.

Experts say the real estate boom in West Bengal and nearby states is aggravating the problem.

As the operation is entirely illegal, authorities have no idea about its quantum. But estimates suggest that there are at least 500 quarries in Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar and Cooch Behar districts alone…

Read Full Article, Hindustan Times (07-11-2016)

Activist’s action against illegal sand mining near Kihim beach, India; Mumbai Mirror (05-20-2016)

Tragedy of The Commons: Corrosive Growth of the Illegal Sand Mining Mafia; The Citizen (01-04-2016)

Illegal miners have field day in state, Times of India (12-25-2015)

India’s ‘New Cities’ Plan: Environment Not Included, Aljazeera (03-06-2015)
Sand – inexpensive and abundant – is a treasure to India’s builders and the construction industry, which employs some 40 million people. But the spike in construction means sand mining, both legal and illegal, will increase in coastal areas, riverbeds, creeks, and rivulets…

India’s Central Government To Take Up Illegal Sand Mining With States, India Express (10-30-2014)

Illegal Sand Mining is New Gold Rush in India, Gulf News (07-23-2013)

People on Coastline Suffering Due to Sand Mining, India; a NEWS X LIVE Video (08-19-2013)

Disappearing Beaches of India, The Hindu (06-06-2015)

The Demand for Sand is so High There are Illegal Sand Mining Operations, The Smithsonian (07-20-2015)

The Deadly Global War for Sand, WIRED (03-26-2015)

Sand, Rarer Than One Thinks: A UNEP report (GEA-March 2014)
Despite the colossal quantities of sand and gravel being used, our increasing dependence on them and the significant impact that their extraction has on the environment, this issue has been mostly ignored by policy makers and remains largely unknown by the general public.
In March 2014 The United Nations released its first Report about sand mining. “Sand Wars” film documentary by Denis Delestrac – first broadcasted on the european Arte Channel, May 28th, 2013, where it became the highest rated documentary for 2013 – expressly inspired the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to publish this 2014-Global Environmental Alert.

Sand Wars, An Investigation Documentary, By Award-Winning Filmmaker Denis Delestrac (2013)

Sand Mining in India: Learn More, Coastal Care

Global Sand Mining: Learn More, Coastal Care


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PETITION: Take Action To End Global Beach Sand Mining, Coastal Care

beach-sand-mining-maroc
Illegal sand mining, coastal Morocco. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care