Narangi Sand Dredging Causes Major Concern (India)
According to The Washington Post, dozens of dredging boats scour the bottom of the Vaitarna creek, Narangi, all day as workers build pyramids of excavated sand in the villages along its banks.
Villagers say the rampant sand dredging is depleting groundwater tables, increasing the risk of floods and ruining the quality of soil.
The unprecedented scale of the dredging of sand, needed to build offices, factories, malls, high-rise apartments, schools and highways, is beginning to take a toll on river systems and the environment.
Environmentalists are divided on how to resolve the issue. Some say the ban should be enforced strictly, while others advocate giving more power to village councils to monitor mining and collect fees.
In February, the Indian supreme court ruled that sand dredgers must seek permission from the environment ministry.
Dredging Today Staff, May 20, 2012;