Punjab and Madhya Pradesh have generated considerable revenue through e-auction of sand mines.
“Illegal sand mining is rampant in some states. We have proposed to the Union ministry that a coding system be introduced so that all states prevent interstate movement of material excavated through illegal mining. If the ministry agrees to the idea, a detailed plan can be worked out”, an Odisha government official has said.
Other states like Jharkhand, Punjab and Karnataka are also grappling with the problem of illegal sand mining. Though Punjab has started e-auction of sand mines and collected Rs 170.28 crore as revenue, the illegalities with sand mining still persist. The Jharkhand government feels that the problem of illegal sand mining needs to be seriously tackled by the central government. In Karnataka, sand availability is a big issue because of unchecked mining. The state government is in favour of constituting a central committee to monitor the illegal mining of sand.
E-auctions of sand mines is also being done by the Madhya Pradesh government. The state has so far realised a revenue of Rs 1,500 crore from the auction. Last month, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also announced a moratorium on sand mining in the Narmada river bed.
In Chhattisgarh, grants of sand mining have been delegated to the panchayat or the local body.
Illegal sand mining has triggered a serious environmental concerns. According to the United Nations, it contributes to land erosion, compromises water security and affects the climate. It also threatens the existence of over 70 per cent of the world’s beaches.