Rivers continue to lose mindless mining battle

Rivers continue to lose mindless mining battle

0

Undoubtedly sand is essential part of river ecosystem. Like flow and fish it helps rivers stay healthy. It’s critical for ground water recharge, replenishes the nutrients in moving water, supplies lean season flow to rivers and provides habitat to numerous forms of aquatic and riparian fauna.Despite all this, illegal and unsustainable mining of sand and boulders is widespread across the country taking heavy toll on the lifelines of modern civilization. Continuing our effort to assess the scale of threat and level of devastation illegal sand mining is posing to our rivers, SANDRP presents State wise 2017 year end review on the issue. This is third straight year that we are doing this after 2015 and 2016. The subsequent reports would cover Governments’ role and Judicial interventions to reign in the unsustainable, unlawful sand mining activities across India.
NORTH INDIA
Jammu & Kashmir Illegal sand mining endangers 2 bridges in Bishnah Unchecked sand mining from Morchapur camp river bed in Bishnah tehsil has endangered two bridges in the area. The eroded river bed has reached near the bottom of bridge and caused damage to its base, which may lead to its collapse. Over 30 tractors strip the river beds of sand daily from the sites, close to several important bridges hinting that there was an unholy nexus between some officials and the contractor. As per locals, the matter was brought to notice of Assistant Executive Engineer (Irrigation and Flood Control) several times, but he did not bother. They said, no monitoring or patrolling of sand excavation is being done by the Department of Geology and Mining. http://www.earlytimes.in/newsdet.aspx?q=199687 (January 2017)
Riverbed mining destroys rivers in Jhelum basin Uncontrolled extraction of sand, gravel and boulders from Jhelum and other rivers is destroying the ecosystem of the rivers. The importance of sediments is such that the Indus Waters Treaty – the water sharing agreement between India and Pakistan over the Indus River –gives explicit recognition to the right of downstream riparian population to the sediments, just as it does for the water. The trapping and release of sediments is regulated under the treaty, and has been a subject of frequent discussions and arbitrations under the treaty. https://www.thethirdpole.net/2017/05/04/indiscriminate-riverbed-mining-destroying-rivers-in-jhelum-basin/ (May 2017)
Ravi river dying because of illegal mining The video shows that illegal mining in Ravi river in Kathua district is posing threat to environment and heavy loss to state exchequer. Under the nose of state government, the Punjab based stone crushers are mining the river bed beyond the legal mark causing severe damage to the river. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICGOx2sKsiA
Bihar 6 hurt in clash over sand mining at Nepal border Villagers on either side of the India-Nepal border clashed over sand mining at Oriya Khola in Sikta police station area of West Champaran district on Feb. 24, 2017. Nepal citizens allege that deep sand mining along the Indian border was changing the course of the river, affecting their habitations. Due to this border pillars had also been obliterated, thus presenting difficulty in ascertaining the boundaries between the two nations at this point. A similar incident was reported on Sep 13, 2016 at the same site after armed police force of Nepal, backed by people of the Himalayan nation stopped sand miners. http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/6-hurt-in-clash-over-sand-mining-on-india-nepal-border/story-Tx2bokFwPvD7dKlUYAw5TK.html (February 2017)
Adverse impact of unsustainable mining on Falgu river The Hindi report by India Water Portal highlights impact of pollution and illegal sand mining on Falgu river. http://hindi.indiawaterportal.org/Falgu-river-in-sorry-state-needs-restoration (2017)
West Bengal Critical gap in sand mining reform The environmental provisions in the new Rules are drafted using broad and vague wording, rendering them toothless. A rule obliging the “protection of environment” is so broad it is practically meaningless. Furthermore, the rule is arguably only protecting environmental damage at the mining site, rather than damage up or downstream from mining activity (which is often the case). These Rules also fail to make the connection with laws relating to different forms of pollution, such as air pollution, noise pollution and the discharge of effluents into water. There is no mention of water pollution, groundwater and river flows, in a situation where riverbed mining’s worst impacts are on water quality, groundwater availability and downstream river water availability. The Rules also have loopholes that allow circumvention from environmental compliance. https://thewire.in/161840/sand-mining-reforms-west-bengal/ (July 2017)
NORTH EAST INDIA
Arunachal Pradesh Mining threatens scared Crane habitats The ongoing sand-mining threatens the wintering habitat of the Black-necked Crane as the season for wintering of the Black-necked crane has now begun. The mining is happening right when the Wildlife Institute of India is currently conducting a study at the site on the crane as per the order of the NGT. As per forest dept sand mining is under the Department of Minerals and Mining and not under Forest Dept. https://arunachaltimes.in/index.php/2017/11/23/unabated-mining-threatens-black-necked-crane-habitat-in-zemithang/ (November 2017)
Sand and gravel mining in Zemithang
Meghalaya Mining goes unregulated in Garo hills As per Centre for Environment Protection and Rural Development (CEPARD), a Tura-based NGO “excessive” sand mining was one of the reasons for erosion and rivers like Ganol changing its course. CEPARD said that illegal sand mining in Garo Hills has been posing a serious challenge for the environment and hence threatening the low-lying areas with frequent erosion and submergence of villages particular in the plain belt areas of West Garo Hills and in neighbouring Assam’s South Salmara Mancachar district. https://www.northeasttoday.in/sand-mining-goes-unregulated-in-garo-hills/ (November 2017)
Odisha Illegal sand mining causes soil erosion in Mahanadi Illegal sand lifting in violation of NGT directions has become a regular affair in Jagatsinghpur district. Scores of tractors, trucks and tippers are deployed everyday to carry out the trade clandestinely with alleged support of revenue officials and a section of politicians. Apparently, sand lifting is also the reason behind soil erosion on the banks of Mahanadi that passes through the district. In fact, unauthorised sand quarrying has led to severe erosion of river banks in Tirtol, Raghunathpur and Kujang blocks situated in Mahanadi downstream. http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/odisha/2017/feb/21/illegal-sand-mining-throws-green-norms-to-wind-1572989.html (February 2017)
Rampant-sand-mining-goes-on-govt-loses-revenue
Rampant sand mining goes on; govt loses revenue Rampant sand loot has bent taking place from the bed of river Tel in Kalahandi district while the govt is losing revenue worth crores of rupees every year. Locals have demanded a probe into the illegalities. They said machines were engaged in sand quarrying and truckloads of sand had been transported to other places. However, the revenue officials are accused of looking the other way. Villagers of Turkel and Chhenagaon had taken up the issue of illegal sand lifting with the collector and the revenue divisional commissioner a few days ago. http://www.orissapost.com/rampant-sand-mining-goes-on-govt-loses-revenue/ (December 2017)
Jharkhand Three killed over sand mining dispute Three persons were killed and one was injured in firing over a sand mining dispute in Jharkhand’s Garhwa district. According to police, the villagers were opposing the sand mining in Jatpura village. Sanjit Singh, who has been awarded the sand mining contract, allegedly opened fire at the villagers. In the firing, three members of a family were killed and one sustained injuries. The irate villagers set afire seven trucks used to transport sand. The contractor managed to escape. http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/three-killed-over-sand-mining-dispute-in-jharkhand-117051900599_1.html (May 2017)
June-October sand ban bites realty hard Realty in Ranchi is reeling under a severe sand crisis in the wake of the NGT’s ban on sand mining during monsoon to avert floods. In Jharkhand, sand mining is banned from June 15 to October 15 as a flood prevention measure since sand, lining the river banks, acts a natural barrier to overflowing water. The crisis has even hit middleclass home-owners. Earlier this month, sand crisis was among the issues raised during a state meeting of the 20-point implementation committee chaired by chief minister Raghubar Das. Here, a committee member had suggested giving sand mining rights to panchayats. https://www.telegraphindia.com/1170723/jsp/jharkhand/story_163349.jsp (July 2017)
Violation of NGT order The blanket ban on sand mining during monsoon by the NGT has put a question mark on the on-going construction work under the Central Government’s flagship schemes in Jharkhand. The construction of houses and household toilets under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and Swachh Bharat Mission, respectively, has enough reasons to cast aspersions about the compliance of the NGT’s order by the State Government. The NGT has ordered the State Government to stop mining of sand from riverbeds in view of possible damage to the ecology of rivers. http://businessworld.in/article/Violation-Of-NGT-Order-In-Jharkhand/24-09-2017-126858/ (September 2017)
Chhattisgarh Malaise of Naxal violence lies deep in illegal mining and political funding The detailed report tries to imply that illegal sand mining is feeding violent naxal attacks and unaccounted funding to political parties in many Indian states. http://www.firstpost.com/india/sukma-maoist-attack-malaise-of-naxal-violence-lies-deep-in-illegal-mining-and-political-funding-3408728.html (April 2017)
Documentary – Illegal sand miners in India make Rs. 1,611-cr profit every year A documentary by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation has claimed that India is facing a serious environmental crisis with rampant illegal sand mining fetching Rs 1,611 crore in profits every year. The 20-minute documentary ‘Line in the Sand’ was screened in Mumbai by Awaaz Foundation on April 23, 2017 that highlights the illegal sand mining trade, the mafia involved and identified areas such as Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, where regular sand excavation using machines is carried out. http://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/illegal-sand-miners-in-india-make-1-611-cr-profit-every-year-australian-film/story-o0wzzmQhL3ON42JlkeBM9H.html (April 2017)
The sand acts as an aquifer, regulating the river’s flow. But sand is also a crucial ingredient in concrete, and India is urbanizing at a speed and scale virtually unmatched by any country in history. Apartment towers, highways, bridges, skyscrapers, metros, dams: Each of them swallows unimaginable helpings of sand. It (sand) could line the rivers, or it could form the cities that were rising everywhere alongside them, but it could not do both at once. This is a very perceptive piece indeed. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/01/magazine/sand-mining-india-how-to-steal-a-river.html (March 2017)
Need estimates and mapping of demand and supply Mining of sand is considered a necessity under current situation where there are few alternatives available. However, little effort is made to find and implement such alternatives and the State has left it up to individual builders to use such technology if suitable. No efforts to map available sand stocks and match them with building requirements of the Development Plan are made and the draft Regional Plan currently under circulation does not map the source of sand to supply the quantities needed to execute the DP. http://www.moneylife.in/article/sand-mining-need-estimates-and-mapping-of-demand-and-supply/50273.html (April 2017)
The World is Running Out of Sand Skyrocketing demand, combined with unfettered mining to meet it, is creating the perfect recipe for shortages. Plentiful evidence strongly suggests that sand is becoming increasingly scarce in many regions. This problem is rarely mentioned in scientific discussions and has not been systemically studied. Media attention drew us to this issue. While scientists are making a great effort to quantify how infrastructure systems such as roads and buildings affect the habitats that surround them, the impacts of extracting construction minerals such as sand and gravel to build those structures have been overlooked. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/world-facing-global-sand-crisis-180964815/ (September 2017)
(Abdidged from SANDRP (South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People) bulletin dated 19 Dec)

Share.
Loading...

Comments are closed.