Posted by Abraham Abhishek
August 06, 2013
Sand is key to maintaining the delicate ecological balance. Sand is a key construction material
In India, this dichotomy has ended up in private companies mining sand indiscriminately from beaches and river beds, completely flouting environmental regulations. They find the necessary allies in corrupt politicians and government officials. It has been difficult dangerous to stand up to this nexus, as honest activists/officials have found out from time to time. Administrator Durga Shakti Nagpal is a recent example.
In the interview below, researcher Kiran Pereira talks about her work on illegal sand mining in the Western Ghats, a bio-diversity hotspot. She recounts stories of intimidation, assault and illegal mining happening brazenly in broad daylight. What helps this flourish—she concludes– is public perception and inaccurate categorization of sand as an abundant, low-value resource.
Do you have stories to tell about sand-mining from your part of the world? Please share them in the Comments section below.