Off late from a few decades, the people of India were well acquainted with the word mafia. The literal, meaning of the word poses no use for us as far the discussion is concerned. But the pro active illegal business that is being run by these mafia cults has been alarmingly dangerous for all walks of life. Ironically our country has the distinction of boasting the act of mafia publishing and accepting their own deeds on an open forum, but we are still probing over our nascent diplomatic relations. One of the scariest forms of this mafia which is not depicted anywhere in public but can cause disastrous effects in the areas of economy health government stabilization and other factors is beach sand mining
Just as in recent times, we have heard about the Trimax Company violating some rules during mining beach sands in the coasts of Andhra Pradesh. The claim was that Trimax has been digging much deeper than the obtained permission level which is violating the law stated by the Indian bureau of mines. They were digging up to eight meters instead of concluding at four meters. This mining mafia may be new to Andhra Pradesh region but this is actively carried out at other parts of India from a long time. Beach sand mining extracts rare valuable minerals which are illegally exported
The coast of periyasamypuram in tuticorin district and vatsavalasa in srikakulam district respectively has been under the scanner of this mafia. These areas are of the few coastlines of the world that are detected with the presence of monazite, rutile, zircorin etc. these minerals are used in pharmaceuticals , cosmetics engine parts and so on. The other countries where these minerals are abundant and pose threat to the government in response to their sand mining and storage are Australia , China ,South Africa etc. the islands of Stradbroke, Fraser differ in color stating the abundance of rare minerals . Now the mining of monazite has been under the scrutiny of the government of India as monazite poses to be a rich source of thorium . Thorium is used in nuclear reactors. These reactors in turn proved energy (barring the environmental defects they incur). So monazite turns out to be an indirect source of energy for future generations. This depletable energy resource is meant to be handled under the able hands of government of India. But the beach sand mafia is illegally extracting monazite and exporting them to various countries. As per the recent statistics one kg of monazite cost can shoot from five to six lakhs. This scam can easily hatch thousands of crores of rupees. S mining operations also pose danger to other valuable minerals like quartz sanidine, glacuontie, muscovite which are almost on the brink of extinction
Moreover the detrimental mining of beach sand can cause destruction of natural beaches and ecosystems they embed upon themselves. The increased shoreline erosion rates changes the existing delta structures and lowering of water table from the point level. Salinization of ground water and impacts to the coastal infrastructure, river embankments shall be at a high rate. There is a high risk of social and political turmoil due to this illegal mining. They lead to corruption, crude violation of human rights, child labor and crime. Sand and gravel mining in stream channels can lead to damage of public property. Head cutting and deep shallow waters can cause bed degradation which in turn causes pit excavation and bar skimming. Poor gravel streams undergo head cutting which persist many years after mining. This affects the stability of structures in and around the mining area. Channel incision undermines piers and exposes buries infrastructure causing deeper blockades. This illegal mining can also cause degradation of water quality due to the increase of short term turbidity at the site and resuspension of sediments.
Regardless of any consequence, it is the prima facie responsibility of governments to work hand in hand with people who are taking up this cause of illegal sand mining and address the cumulative environment aspects of the direct destruction of beach aesthetics and flora, fauna in and around world beaches. These depletable natural barriers are being dug out at much faster rate than it can replenished and flourished.