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Sustainable Sand Mining: A Call for Responsible Practices

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07 Dec, 23 11:18
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Sustainable Sand Mining: A Call for Responsible Practices

Sand, a vital natural resource, ranks second only to water in terms of consumption. Its relentless extraction, driven by the ever-increasing demand for construction, poses significant environmental challenges. Unregulated sand mining, particularly from riverbeds, can have severe consequences, the extent of which is determined by extraction rates and methods.
The unbridled extraction of sand from riverbeds leaves an indelible mark on the environment. The severity of these impacts can be catastrophic without proper regulation. Recent research by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Ropar, underscores the potential of scientific mining along rivers to mitigate the damage caused by floods. The study suggests that regulated mining could have increased the river's storage capacity, reducing the magnitude of losses suffered by Punjab residents during this year's monsoon.
Illegal mining not only depletes sand resources but also disrupts natural river flow, creating ditches that exacerbate environmental degradation. Effective policies for sustainable sand extraction necessitate comprehensive data on mining effects. The Punjab government, recognizing this need, engaged IIT Ropar to assess sediment deposits post-monsoon. The institute recommends a regulatory framework, employing drone technology to map riverbeds and identify unexpected depressions. To curb illicit activities, the digitization of land transactions is proposed, scrutinizing purchases near riverbanks.
support for research into sustainable sources of construction-grade sand is imperative. Collaborating with premier institutes focused on environmental preservation and infrastructure protection can facilitate an audit of sand extraction practices. However, caution is advised regarding claims of untapped sand and mineral potential in Punjab. Rather than expanding mining operations, the emphasis should be on enforcing existing regulations and improving management at authorized mining sites.
To ensure responsible sand mining, policy guidelines should advocate optimal distances between mining sites, tailored to the river's width and replenishment rate. This approach prioritizes environmental sustainability over indiscriminate extraction.The call for sustainable sand mining practices resonates as a critical imperative. Collaboration with research institutions, adoption of advanced technologies, and stringent policy enforcement are essential steps toward preserving this invaluable resource and mitigating the environmental impacts of its extraction.
 


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यह खबर निम्न श्रेणियों पर भी है: Editorial
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