Illegal sand mining on Kihim Beach near Mumbai eroding it, says NGO

Officials said they will depute local villagers to alert them about sand mining in Kihim and in turn issue rewards
Maharashtra recorded 26,628 cases of illegal mining last year, the highest across the country, according to data from the Ministry of Mines
Maharashtra recorded 26,628 cases of illegal mining last year, the highest across the country, according to data from the Ministry of Mines
Published on Dec 26, 2018 12:10 AM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times | By, Mumbai

Illegal sand mining at Kihim Beach, near Alibaug, has been going on unchecked for a decade and is leading to soil erosion and loss of tree cover, according to environmentalists.

City-based environmental organisation Awaaz Foundation on Monday filed a complaint with the Konkan commissioner and district administration of Raigad in this regard and attached week-old pictures of bullock carts transporting sand away from the beach.

“The entire beach is eroded with at least 10 decade-old trees uprooted across different ends,” said Sumaira Abdulali, convener, Awaaz Foundation, which has filed six complaints in three years against illegal sand mining. “Despite repeated complaints, bullock carts continue to excavate sand in large quantities illegally during low tide, which has led to a drop in the level of sand, and the beach is now flat.”

Maharashtra recorded 26,628 cases of illegal mining last year, the highest across the country, according to data from the Ministry of Mines. This year, data up to June showed 2,751 cases. Between 2013 and 2018, 2,228 people were booked for illegal mining, one court case was filed, and 163,366 vehicles were seized. The fines collected for illegal mining over six years was 36,502 lakh.

Sand mining is a major environmental concern which may threaten the existence of over 70% of the world’s beaches, and also contribute to major land erosion, compromising water security, affecting climate and many more such fatal calamities, according to the United Nations Environment Programme.

In 2014, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had banned sand mining in coastal regions of many states, including Maharashtra, identifying that it was harming the environment. In 2016, the ban was lifted in Maharashtra’s coastal districts of Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri, Raigad and Thane, after the state government promised the NGT that it will ensure that mining will not affect the environment.

An official from the Raigad district collector’s office said circle officers had taken action at the site but offenders continue to return. “Sand is being used for construction in this region. We have confiscated bullock carts and all manual dredging equipment from this area several times this year but due to a shortage of manpower, we are unable to keep round the clock vigilance,” said Jagdish Patil, Konkan commissioner.

“However, we will be deputing local villagers to alert us about sand mining and in turn issue rewards. We will issue directions to the district collector to track and take action against alleged violators,” Patil said.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Bihar hooch tragedy: Toll rises to 13

    Bihar hooch tragedy: Toll rises to 13

    The toll from the suspected hooch tragedy went up to 13 as four more people died in Bihar's Aurangabad late on Tuesday. Aurangabad district magistrate Saurabh Jorwal said the hooch is suspected to have been brought from Jharkhand and supplied to sellers in bordering villages of Gaya and Aurangabad. Gaya's senior police superintendent Harpreet Kaur said Santosh Chaudhary, the alleged main supplier, and his four associates have been arrested.

  • Karnataka Congress general secretary Kavitha Reddy.

    'Why not women?' Karnataka Congress leader slams party over ticket distribution

    Karnataka Congress general secretary Kavitha Reddy lashed out at her party for not giving 'fair representation to women' while picking candidates for the June 3 Legislative Council elections, news agency ANI reported Wednesday. In a self-made video, Reddy said that it is 'disturbing' to see that women have not been given representation in the state legislative council. The Congress has announced M Nagaraju Yadav and K Abdul Jabbar as its candidates.

  • Indian PM Modi announced on Twitter that a compensation of <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>2 lakh each will be given to the next of kin of those deceased in the accident on the Hubballi-Dharwad bypass road on Tuesday.

    PM Modi and Karnataka CM announce ex-gratia for Hubli road accident victims

    Eight people were killed and about 26 others were injured in an accident involving a private bus and a truck on the Hubballi-Dharwad bypass road during the early hours of Tuesday, police said. The bus was heading from Kolhapur in Maharashtra to Bengaluru, while the truck was coming in the opposite direction. The incident occurred when the bus driver allegedly lost control while trying to overtake a tractor and hit the truck head-on, police said.

  • Pet parents such as Vidhi Vishnoi, a Gurugram-based tax manager, chooses to leave her almost two-year-old German Shepherd with friends and family, or takes him along on her travels, after sour experiences with boarding facilities in the past. (Photo: Shutterstock)

    Furry tales: Pet parents vs boarding centres

    These centres make it easier for pet parents to tend to their travel needs while being assured that their bundle of joy is taken care of. “I have had bad experiences twice at different boarding centres,” shares a Gurugram-based educator, Parul Gupta, who feels that a big challenge that pet parents face while leaving their furry baby, is the temperament issue of other pets residing there.

  • A temple-like structure was found underneath the Juma Masjid in Mangaluru during renovation in late April.

    Section 144 imposed around disputed mosque in Mangaluru

    Large gatherings have been banned within 500 metres of a mosque in Karnataka's Mangaluru after a Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader warned of a 'Ram Mandir-like campaign' in the fight for control of premises on which a Hindu temple-like architectural design was reportedly found. Mangaluru authorities imposed Section 144 at 8 pm Tuesday and this will be in place till 8 am Thurrsday.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, May 25, 2022