Skip to main content

At least 193 died due to 'illegal, excessive' river sand mining since Jan 2019: SANDRP

Parents of kids who died in mining pits in Somb river, Yamuna Nagar, July 2019 
By Our Representative
A recent compilation has revealed that at least 193 people have been killed due to illegal sand mining operations across across India since January 2019. Compiled in a detailed report by Bhim Singh Rawat of the civil rights organization South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP), it says that the highest number of people, 95 were killed in North India (49%) followed by 42 in West and Central India, 41 in East India and 15 in South India.
According to Rawat, “Illegal, excessive sand mining activities have been impacting river ecosystem and riparian communities adversely. Scores of villagers, young kids, reporters, activists and government officials are being attacked and killed every year for objecting to or due to unlawful and unsustainable excavation of River sand. The brazen mining is also leading to fatal road accidents which is again resulting in grievous injuries or even deaths.”
He adds, “The situation has only deteriorated despite several protests by locals and numbers of court orders reprimanding the central and the state governments. Political parties, politicians are directly or indirectly linked to many of these activities.”
According to the report, drowning, mine collapse, road accidents were the biggest killers, pointing out, of the total deaths 95 were caused by drowning in deep sand mining pits followed by 27 due to collapse of sand mounds and caving in of sand mines. The road accidents involving sand mining vehicles resulted in death of 26 people including 18 in North India only.
Rawat says, 148 deaths (which is about 76 percent) were found to be the result of excessive and unscientific riverbed mining and transportation of sand. Out of 26 deaths in road accidents 18 (about 69 percent) took place in just three North Indian states, Uttar Pradesh (12), Haryana (three) and Uttarakhand (three).
These included 23 farmers, five reporters and activists, and 11 government officials, including forest guards, policemen, revenue officials, mining personnel and district officials were killed by illegal miners, the report says.
Death toll in India due to Illegal Sand Mining in 2019-20
The report continues, infighting between rival groups led to the death of three illegal miners (one in UP, two in Madhya Pradesh) while three others (one in UP, two in Rajasthan) were killed in police encounter. Forty five deaths (about 23%), including those involved illegal mining, was the outcome of direct assault on villagers, government officials, activists and reporters.
The report further says, out of 95 drowning deaths in sand mining pits, 76 (80 percent) were either minor kids or young children or teenagers who entered in river to have a bath unaware of deep pits in the riverbed.
Sadly, it adds, 11 children of Haryana and 32 children in UP died after falling in deep sand pits in this period. Similarly, in Bihar, sand mining pits killed 11 in Sone river alone. The sand pits in Swan river in Punjab saw the death of eight villagers since 2013 and three in Banganga river in Uttarakhand.
As for reporters and activists, Rawat says, one reporter in UP, two activists in Odisha, one in Bihar and one in Tamil Nadu were killed for opposing and exposing illegal sand mining. Besides this, the report adds, there were brutal attacks on one reporter each in Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh and one Right to Information (RTI) activist in Kerala.

Comments

TRENDING

Unlike other revolutionaries, Hindutva icon wrote 5 mercy petitions to British masters

By Shamsul Islam*  The Hindutva icon VD Savarkar of the RSS-BJP rulers of India submitted not one, two,or three but five mercy petitions to the British masters! Savarkarites argue: “There are no evidences to prove that Savarkar collaborated with the British for his release from jail. In fact, his appeal for release was a ruse. He was well aware of the political developments outside and wanted to be part of it. So he kept requesting for his release. But the British authorities did not trust him a bit” (YD Phadke, ‘A complex Hero’, "The Indian Expres"s, August 31, 2004)

Whither SDG goal? India's maternal mortality rate fall target 5.5% per yr, actual 4.5%

By Srinivas Goli, Parul Puri* The maternal mortality ratio (number of maternal deaths per one lakh live births) is a key and sensitive parameter used by health policymakers to monitor maternal health conditions in particular and women's status in general in a country.

Employment loss vis-a-vis pre-Covid situation 'neutralized', claim Govt of India data

By Arup Mitra, DPS Negi, Puneet Kumar Shrivastav* The Labour Bureau, an attached office of the Ministry of Labour & Employment, has been entrusted with the task of conducting the All-India Quarterly Establishment based Employment Survey (AQEES) which has two components namely Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) in respect of establishments employing 10 or more workers (mostly constituting ‘organised’ segment) and Area Frame Establishment Survey (AFES) to build up a frame in respect of establishments employing nine or less workers.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Fresh efforts to subsume Buddhism within Hindu fold 'undermining' Ambedkar

By Aviral Anand*  From Yeola in 1935, when Dr Ambedkar announced that he would not die a Hindu, to Nagpur in 1956 when he converted to Buddhism, is a considerable distance in time. But, there was in him a need to make a public announcement in 1935 about moving away from Hinduism. 

How green revolution led to 'deterioration' of Punjab economy, land, air and water

By Dr Gian Singh*  A recent research paper, based on a survey of 320 farming families in four districts of Punjab, has tried to show that high crop densities and the use of inputs have led to degradation of land, air, water and humans through a rich agricultural structure. Although mechanization has increased agricultural productivity, it has also caused environmental degradation.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Article 370 abrogation hasn't helped curb terrorist attacks: Kashmiri Pandit group

Counterview Desk In a letter to the Lt Governor, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) in the wake of recent terrorist attacks in the Valley, Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS) president Sanjay K Tickoo has taken strong exception to what he calls" callous approach" shown by the administration and security agencies towards "non-migrant Kashmiri Pandits / Hindus living in Kashmir Valley".

India's weak fiscal position: Can higher gold reserves help stem further deterioration?

Counterview Desk  India Gold Policy Centre at the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIMA), which has been researching on global gold markets working closely with the Government of India as as an advisor on various policy initiatives in several key areas relating to the use of gold as a fungible financial asset, has claimed that high levels of Central Bank gold reserves has had “positive implications for India.”

India's 55% firms perceive significant, sustained high-cost pressure: IIM-A survey

Costs per unit compare: % responses By Our Representative  A new Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) survey, involving responses from executives of around 1,200 companies across India, has said that the cost perceptions data indicates “sustained high-cost pressures”, with over 55% of the firms perceiving significant (over 6%) cost increase.