Sand Mining

Riverbed Mining 2022: Judiciary tries but fails to bring effective change

(Feature Image: Screen shot of The Power Time Dec. 2022 video news report revealing large scale mechanized, illegal sand mining in Sone rivers in Sonbhadra district Uttar Pradesh)

Judiciary has been striving to remedy the lawless situation currently dominating riverbed mining in India. The year 2022 has been full of court cases and orders dealing with unsustainable and illegal riverbed mining operations. In this yearend overview, we have reported top ten judicial interventions to control exploitative minor mineral mining by various state governments and to make the regulators accountable against the illegalities & violations.

In 1st part of the annual Sand Mining overviews, we tracked the adverse impacts of riverbed mining activities on freshwater species and rivers’ eco-system. In 2nd part, we covered the riverine community’s agitations against destructive riverbed mining. The 3rd part highlighted the damages and threats to infrastructures by excessive, mechanized riverbed mining.

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Sand Mining

2022: Riverbed Mining Destroying Indian River Eco-system & Freshwater Species

(Feature image sources: Clock wise (1) Mahseer fish/ Mongabay India, April 2022. (2) Gharials in Chambal/India Today, July 2022. (3) Gangetic dolphin/ECO NE. (4) Smooth-coated Otters in Cauvery/Round Glass, Jan. 2023.)

Indiscriminate mining of riverbeds for sand, gravel, pebbles have been rampant across the country increasingly damaging India’s rivers. The incidents of illegal sand mining, mafias, administrative actions & inactions, govt policies and court cases are routinely covered by the media. However the irreversible impacts of destructive riverbed mining operations on fresh water species and river eco-system are little understood, least explored, rarely covered by media and fails to attract the required attention from govts, judiciary and public at large. 

To some extent, we have been monitoring and highlighting the loop holes in sand mining governance. As part of our annual overview, in 2022 we have complied this separate report underlining the adverse impacts of riverbed mining on rivers and on aquatic life, fresh water species including endangered gharials, dolphins, turtles, fish etc.

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Dams

DAM BUILDING MUST BE HALTED FOR A SAFE AND SECURE WORLD

Guest Blog by Manoj Misra

Rivers in different parts of the world have been dammed to fulfill human needs like water for irrigation, industries and domestic supplies. Then there are dams that have been raised to control floods or to produce electricity.

These have often been celebrated as human victory over nature, glorified as engineering marvel and claimed variously as highest, longest etc as a matter of national pride.

But rarely has there been a holistic assessment or appreciation of what a dam does to the natural entity called river and its adverse impacts on all the associated life forms, including humans.

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