Rivers Ambika, Purna, Kaveri, Tapi and Khapra are severely affected by illegal sand mining. It is forming cavities in the riverbed and accelerating water salinity. This is resulting in diminishing agricultural produce.
In October 2010, a new policy made gram sabha’s permission for sand mining essential. Now, sand mining projects also need environmental clearance. The creeks at Thane, Navi Mumbai, Raigad and Ratnagiri are most affected by mining.
The Uniform Sand Mining Policy does not allow mining in Coastal Regulation Zones and prohibits use of machinery. The rivers affected are Cauvery, Lakshmanateerta, Harangi, Hemavathi, Nethravatai and Papaganii.
Kerala Protection of River Banks and Regulation of Removal of Sand Act, 2001, permits mining in areas that will be managed by a committee. The rivers affected are Bharatapuzha, Kuttiyadi, Achankovil, Pampa, Manimala, Periyar, Bhavani, Siruvani, Thuthapuzha, Chitturpuzha.
5. TAMIL NADU
A policy ensures that quarrying in Government poramboke land and private patta land can only be undertaken by the Government. The rivers affected are Cauvery, Vaigai, Palar, Cheyyar, Araniyar, Kosathalaiyar, Bhavani, Vellar, Vaigai, Thamiraparani and Kollidam.
6. ANDHRA PRADESH
A policy allows only manual labour and bullocks for mining. Contractors can be allotted sand through open bidding by a panel headed by district joint collectors. Rivers affected are Godavari, Tungabhadra, Vamsadhara, Nagavali, Bahuda and Mahendratanaya.
Despite public agitation, sand is mined extensively. Districts like Jajapur are constantly in the grip of sand miners and contractors. Odisha’s coastline comprises deposits of ilmenite, garnet, sillimanite, rutile, zircon, monazite, magnetite and pyriboles.
8. WEST BENGAL
Ruled by the mafia, stone quarrying in Birbhum’s Mohammad Bazaar is widespread. Minerals found in beach sand include Ilmenite and sillimanite.
Illegal mining is rampant in Bhagalpur, Banka, Munger, Jamui, Lakhisarai, Sheikhpura, Patna, Bhojpur, Saran, Rohtas, Bhabhua, Aurangabad, Buxar, Gaya, Nalanda, Navada, Siwan, Jehanabad, Gopalganj, Muzaffarpur, Vaishali, Bettiah, Supaul, Motihari, Madhubani, Kishanganj, Saharsa and Madhepura.
Illegal sand mining and stone crushing along the Ganga near Haridwar is a major worry for the inhabitants of Matri Sadan ashram, the abode of Swami Nigamanand who died while on protest fast. Illegal mining along the Gomti is another cause for worry for the farmers of Telihat village.
Sand mining is carried out along the Dansari river in Dimapur to boost the booming construction industry in the State. Dansari is the largest river in the State and has the highest concentration of sand.
12. MADHYA PRADESH
State exempts sand mining from environmental clearance. Mining areas are not demarcated. Therefore, mining far exceeds the allotted area. A strong nexus between contractors, politicians and bureaucrats facilitates illegal mining. It is rampant in the rivers Chambal, Narmada, Betwa and Ken.