Herald: Sand Extraction: The Environmental Effects

Sand Extraction: The Environmental Effects

23 Jan 2011 12:00am IST
Leave a comment
23 Jan 2011 12:00am IST

PANJIM JAN 22 Sand extraction, apart from the illegalities involved and the strain that it has on the department of mining, has severe environmental repercussions. Extraction has changed the geology of the terrain at several places throughout the state.

Sand Extraction: The Environmental Effects
BY SHWETA KAMAT
PANJIM JAN 22
Sand extraction, apart from the illegalities involved and the strain that it has on the department of mining, has severe environmental repercussions. Extraction has changed the geology of the terrain at several places throughout the state.
When you look at the limitations and processes of sand mining, the potential harm it can cause gets a little clearer. According to NIO sources, sand extraction is responsible for increase in salinity of water in Mandovi, Chapora and Tirakhol Rivers. Extraction at the mouth of the river allows the saline water from the ocean to rush into the river basin.
 Apart from that, the sidewalls of the river bank collapse if miners start extracting deeper into the basin, which, not surprisingly, is a common occurrence. The Mining Department officials state that extraction is not allowed within 25 metres of the bank. But at the same time, they admit that there is no machinery in place to cross check whether licensing rules are adhered to.
A study by Goa’s environmental experts states that although sand extraction is a profitable business, which also provides sustenance to local community, its impact is seen on the environment due to overexploitation of sand.
Experts have warned that sand mining operations may incur profound ecological changes that could affect the entire ecosystem. An excerpt from the study reads thus, “It can affect local ecology physically, biologically and chemically. Since mining is done to a depth of up to 6mm and within 10m from the high tide line, operations have the potential to cause severe sea erosion.
Sand dunes have been decimated in many areas and the adverse effects of sand mining will also affect the fishing communities in many places due to coastal erosion. There is an abundance of natural erosion happening on shores throughout the world, including Goa and sand extraction only makes the problem worse. The salinisation of well and ground water too, makes for a grim picture. There is also the obstruction of the free flow of water during the monsoon, which will lead to flooding, amongst other things.
There have to be measures put into place to curb, for one, the illegal extraction of sand, as well as regulate the legal extraction so as not to damage the ecosystem of the geology of specific areas. The government has to seek help from interested organizations to look for alternative building materials, since the construction boom in Goa doesn’t look like its going to die down any time soon. All said and done, Goa will suffer greatly in the future, if sand extraction isn’t managed well.
 

Leave a comment
Comments
Leave a comment


herald epaper herald epaper

Advertise     |     Contact Us     |     About Us     |     Terms of Use     |     Privacy Policy     |     Disclaimer     |     Designed by Team Inertia Technologies

       

Designed by Team Inertia Technologies