Stop Illegal Sand Mining in India

Target: Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan, Minister of India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests

Goal: Stop illegal sand mining in India to prevent environmental damage

Mafias have existed throughout the world when opportunities for unregulated business present themselves. A sand mafia of builder lobbies and politicians has taken over in India and the environment is starting to suffer. Illegal sand mining is threatening the land and water security of India’s coastal cities where mining is most intense. Stop the illegal sand mining in India to prevent further damage to the country’s recreational spaces, water sources, and economy.

Sand in India is used for construction projects and the manufacturing for industrial products like glass and computers. The amount of sand currently being mined in India’s coastal regions exceeds the amount to maintain a sustainable long-term environment. Excessive sand mining practices are threatening the region’s environmental security, recreational space longevity, and economic outlook for the future. Since political leaders are deeply entrenched in the extraction process, mining regulation and enforcement are nearly impossible.

There are more environmentally-sustainable alternatives to sand including slag from the metal industry, fly ash, quarry dust, and recycled debris. The Awaaz Foundation has been working to reverse the effects of excessive sand mining for over a decade. However, it needs the support of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers to put a stop to sand mafia operations. Sign the below petition to show your support for Awaaz’s efforts and urge the Indian government to save natural resources by limiting sand mining.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Minister Natarajan,

Illegal and excessive sand mining practices in your country are threatening the coastal and riverine ecology and posing serious environmental threats to the people of India. Since the natural resource of sand is in high demand for construction and manufacturing purposes, lobbyists and political leaders have favored short-term financial gain over long-term environmental and economic prosperity.

We need your help to stop politicians from actively blocking sand mining regulations because of their own direct involvement with environmentally-irresponsible businesses. Although sand is “free” and alternatives would cost  businesses more to produce, the ultimate cost of mining is environmental destruction. I am urging you to work with environmental groups like Awaaz Foundation to enforce stricter regulations on sand mining in India. If natural sand prices are on par with those synthetically-manufactured products, then businesses will be less likely to deplete the region’s natural resources.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Jeevan Jose via Flickr

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