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
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…
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…
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.
BE THE CHANGE:
Illegal sand mining, coastal Morocco. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care