Stop sand mining from Riverbank; find alternatives

Written By: / Editorial / Friday, 19 March 2021 16:47

In the aftermath of the Manipur High Court Ruling to ban illegal sand mining from Major River banks in Manipur, in connection with the Public Interest Litigation filed by an NGO called Thoubal River Preservation Committee in 2019, protest from sand miners and transporters erupted and the government was compelled to issue legal mining permits from the river bank.
Environmentalists were shocked at the government decisions, and some among the government who were aware of the environmental degradation and river pollution caused by the sand minors were not happy but were seem left with no option but to accept the government decision.
In today’s changing world and is perhaps the most consumable commodities after water. The changing time has brought so much change that the world today is running out of sand. Climate Scientist of the United States has said that the rate of sand use across the globe is triple in the last two decades. In many parts of the world, particularly the developing country construction company of all sorts are using sand more than what is available.
Reports said that 75% to 90% of the beaches across the globe are retreating. In Indonesia 24 islands have disappeared, In Florida of the United States, 9 out of the 10 Beaches are fading away.
Human being today needs sand and coming back to the state of Manipur, the state is in need of more sand than the available sand in the state. A major source of sand in the state is the River bed. In the last two decades, we have sand being collected from the River bed of Sekmai and Kanglatombi. Thoubal River today has become one of the most polluted rivers due to the mining of sand. Serou River no doubt is also becoming polluted day after another.
For private constructions, people of the state preferred sand from outside the state such as Dimapur as the quality is much better.
Scientific findings had revealed that excessive sand mining erodes River banks, aggravates floods, and depletes groundwater. According to the Residence of Sekmai, most of the groundwater tube well has gone dry this year. Expert said that the reason for drying the groundwater tube well is due to the excessive mining of sad from the Sekmai Riverbank. Moreover, the Sekmai River today is running with muddy water. Just a couple of decades Sekai river water was most of the cleanliest water in the state.
According to scientific findings, sand provides stability to the River system, provides habitat to various life forms. Besides this sand in the river is the best source of groundwater recharged.
This write-up is not about arguing the progress that has been brought by sand. This is about why the government is not taking up effective measures to control excessive use of sand by finding alternatives for the sand.
Recent findings by the scientists said that natural sand which has been collected from the Riverbank which polluted the River in returns can be replaced by Crush sand.
H Crush sand is produced by crushing rocks and it is more beneficial as it has no wastage. The size is below 4.75 mm and the shape is cubical and angular and has a rough texture. Except for smooth plastering crush sand is much better in all construction works.
The Crush sand factory can be established at any place which is suitable to pick up for any construction. That is it can be established near the construction site. This will minimize the use of River sand and will help to protect the environment. There will be eco-system resumed, groundwater recharged, and many more like protecting the fauna and flora of the state. Moreover, people will be able to use the river water once more.
The government should establish a unit or department to make sure that river sand is replaced to protect the rivers of the state. When the river is protected the future is also protected. Think about it.

About the Author

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 25+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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