4th May 2017 08:05:PM Editorials
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

The wanton illegal extraction of sand and boulder from the river banks across Arunachal Pradesh has led to major erosion and has increased the threat of flooding manifolds.

Respective district administrations have imposed bans prohibiting the collection of minor minerals like boulder, and shingles etc form the river banks but despite repeated orders, rampant and haphazard collection of minor minerals from gullies/nallahs and river have led to their widening leading to increased incidences of soil erosion, land slides and flooding in these hilly areas and pose threat to township areas during the heavy rains of the summer season.

Besides strengthening the banks, sand serves as the habitat of many small species in the river. Sand also acts as an aquifer and helps to keep ground water recharged. It helps to form a strong bank over the years that absorbs the force of the water and does not let it go out of its channel.

For ages, people have used sand from the river banks for construction. They would dig out just enough for their requirement and let it replenish. But with the construction boom in the country, the builders do not think twice about extracting the freely available material. It takes minutes to remove a few trucks of sand with an excavator and weaken the bank.

Needed mostly for construction of buildings, sand is a minor mineral which does not require permission from the Central government and getting clearance from the state government is also relatively easier. Miners and sand mafia take advantage of this fact and exploit the rule.  

The mining of minor minerals which is going unchecked in many areas has had a disastrous impact on the environment. But despite the large-scale harm it causes sand, boulders etc. are still considered a minor mineral and thus comes under relaxed regulations. In fact, a Ministry of Environments and Forests (MoEF) report recommends getting rid of this classification so that same rules can be applied for all minerals but until such time efforts on a smaller scale must be ensured by the administration and environmentalist to limit the extent of harm.

Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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