Sand is an important mineral for society; in aquatic ecosystems (rivers and lakes), it supports organisms that are vital to the food chain, protects shorelines and riparian systems; It is used in industry to make concrete, being a vital material for civil infrastructure and housing construction.
In the past few decades, the demand for construction grade sand has been increasing exponentially, due to rapid economic development and growth of construction activities. However, mining and removal of large amounts of natural sand from river banks can have adverse consequences to the environment, as it destroys the habitat of organisms residing in the eco-system, destabilizes river banks and beds, and affects the natural flow of rivers and streams, increasing the risks of floods, destroying bridges and causing crop damage.
In 2017, the annual sand demand in India was of approximately 700 million tonnes and predictions are that this figure will increase in years ahead. Whereas certain regions in India are self-sufficient in the supply of sand, others have a severe deficit of the resource. The construction industry has come to the realization that river sand mining alone cannot meet the needs of the sector in the near future.
The demand and supply gap has also led to illegal mining and selling practices through dubious channels.
Sand ‘mafia’ groups use indiscriminate practices such as mining of sand more than allotted quota, excavation of sand from non-allocated river beds and so on which accelerate environmental damage and create local law and order problems.
Article Source : MasterBuilder