Tag Archive for 'riverbed mining'

The Struggle Over Riverbed Mining in India

Photo retrieved from: www.internationalrivers.org

“One specific use of  rivers landmasses has increased manifold in India over the last few decades. Mining of sand, gravel, stones and boulders from riverbeds and riverbanks across the country has seen an unprecedented rise. Each day truckloads of sand and gravel are extracted for a variety of reasons. One of the most important factors driving up demand in recent years has been the growth of the real estate and construction industries. Sand is an important ingredient in concrete, which is the mainstay of the construction industry in India today. Without concrete, high rise apartments, big dams, renovation of city buildings, and multi-utility projects would not see light of the day.

Just as large dams affect entire riverine ecosystems and the people who depend on them, the unregulated and large-scale mining of sand, gravel and stones from riverbeds and riverbanks is not devoid of environmental and social impacts. Riverbed mining causes erosion and often leaves the river-plains much more vulnerable to flooding because it allows loose landmass to be washed downstream, especially during monsoons. This type of mining can also cause salinity intrusion into the rivers, damaging riverine ecosystems. According to the Geological Survey of India (GSI), riverbed mining causes several alterations to the physical characteristics of both a river and riverbed. These can severely impact the ecological equilibrium of a river and damage plants, animals and riparian habitats.”

Read more: International Rivers