India ranks second after China in its use of construction sand, a dwindling and increasingly valuable resource.
A bridge built in 1980 has collapsed not due to rain and floods, but due to illegal sand mining. The life of the bridge as prescribed by engineers back in 1980 was 100 years. But thanks to the sand mafia, its life has been cut by 62 years.
A journalist investigating illegal sand mining cases in Bhind district of Madhya Pradesh was run over by a truck on Monday, media reports said.
Poverty and proximity to riverbeds have been weaning away a number of children studying in government schools and pushing them into sand mining. The sand mafia, in a bid to find cheap labour, has been using schoolchildren to lift sand from the riverbeds. The unsuspecting youngsters fall prey to the designs of the mafia, tempted by the money on offer.
Students, IT professionals and activists have pledged to stand by independent journalist Sandhya Ravishankar who is under attack for writing a series of articles on alleged illegal beach sand mining
As rising sea levels threaten to engulf homes along the shores of Tamil Nadu state, locals fear the erosion of the coastline is due to the illegal sand trade.
India’s booming 157 billion dollar construction sector is expected to grow in the coming years. This means that the demand for sand and other minor minerals will increase as well, making it more difficult for the government to curb the methodical and unlawful abuse of riverbeds and coastal areas.
State-owned miner may foray into rare earth minerals and beach sand mining, among others, according to official sources.
Activist Sumaira Abdulali, who has been threatened and attacked several times for raising the issue of sand mining, continues to raise awareness on the subject, to the local authorities.