If the illegal sand mining and loot is not stopped, it is possible that Narmada may one day become extinct, just like the legendary Saraswati river in Rajasthan.
Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh —
Illegal sand mining is continuing in Jabalpur. The revered Narmada, which flows through the heart of Madhya Pradesh, is today bleeding due to the looting of resources from its river bed. Despite numerous appeals, writs in the courts, and regular updates in media, the sand mafia in Madhya Pradesh is carrying out its loot with impunity. A benevolent government in the state is turning a blind eye to their loot.
Illegal sand mining: Huge Profits still Government Coffers empty
As per the information obtained from the Mining Department of MP, only eight sites are authorized to mine and store sand from the Narmada. However, the streets of Jabalpur become overcrowded with large dumpers, which criss-cross the roads after 10 PM. The citizens are so frightened by the huge dumpers, often without registration plates, and run at breakneck speeds on the road. An average dumper, according to sources, carries out 4 to 5 trips in a night. There are at least 1000 dumpers in Jabalpur. Dumper sand costs 25000 to 40000 depending upon the season. One can imagine the amount of revenue that should ideally go into the government’s coffers. Sadly the coffers are still empty.
Sand quarrying is banned during the rainy season. However, one can see mountains of stored sand all along the banks of Narmada. Most of the dumpers for illegal sand mining are either owned by politicians or mafia dons. Therefore no authority has the guts to stop them or prosecute them.
Irreversible Ecological Damage
Unfettered sand mining can destroy entire ecosystems and also the quality of life around the river’s banks. Already Jabalpur is experiencing a drought-like situation. The Bargi Dam reservoir is not filling to its limit for the last several years. Rainfall in the catchment area is diminishing. The Narmada River, which is the fifth-longest river in India, is already dry in many sections in its journey to the Arabian Sea.
The illegal sand mining mafia has become so strong, and they also have no fear of the law. It is high time the civil society and environmentalists start a movement and stop this loot before it is too late. If the loot is not stopped, it is possible that Narmada may one day become extinct, just like the legendary Saraswati river in Rajasthan. Such a situation cannot happen without the tacit support of the present BJP government in MP.