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Sand Mining in rivers destroying environment

Monday - November 20, 2017 12:54 am , Category : WTN SPECIAL

Many of our precious riverbeds are getting ravaged daily due to unbridled sand mining. Most of such exploitative use of the natural resource is illegal and conducted by sand mafias who have a stranglehold over the babus and the police, making their illegal business a smooth operation.

River beds are destroyed beyond repair, and such artificial damage of a natural geographical substructure is detrimental to the course and life of rivers and also subsequently the human habitations living around those rivers. 

With growing construction needs, sand is a daily essentiality for builders/realtors and industries. To fulfil the never-ending need of sand rivers are the best source to mine them and hence their abuse and overuse and rampant exploitation continue despite legal and administrative bans.

Often musclemen and politically linked businessmen handle this trade who have an indomitable monopoly which is hard to break. This is a lucrative trade that needs the least investment and ensures high returns which is why the mafia finds it an easy target to milk. 

Moreover since mining is done in far flung and remote locations where the stretches of a river run dry, it is always hard to conduct a surprise raid or catch the culprits red-handed in off the cuff action. There have also been incidents wherein officials leading a raid or action are targeted by the mafia and even killed for trying to stop their activity. No one, therefore, in normal circumstances tries to take on the sand mafia. 

Their political affiliations also make governments helpless in cracking down on them. Apart from this, most of the business is conducted in the informal sector, and there are many mining honchos who don’t even have records in the official entries. No one actually knows how much sand is being mined away from the river beds and how dangerous such a trend is for our environment.

There are clear-cut legal injunctions against such mining but the law enforcing agencies fail to enforce them on the ground for the reasons mentioned above. We have already destroyed much of our environment by gluttonous use of our natural assets. 

Our water bodies are veritably dying every day and half of India is already reeling under a grave water crisis. It is the time that urgent measures are taken to resurrect the lost lifelines before it gets too late to mend.

Many of our rivers have vanished or turned into nullahs simply due to our mismanagement and callousness. Unless we wake up to the realities around us and change the way we interact with our environment, we will pave the way for our doom.-Windowtonews
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