Sand Mining and Biodiversity Decline With Reference to Rajasthan Area: Mining and Biodiversity

Sand Mining and Biodiversity Decline With Reference to Rajasthan Area: Mining and Biodiversity

Kanchan P. Rathoure (Eco Group of Companies, India) and Ashok K. Rathoure (M/s Akone Services, Lucknow, India)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1226-5.ch012
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Biodiversity sustains human livelihoods and life itself. An estimated 40% of the global economy is based on biological products and processes. As the biodiversity harbours a great amount of diversity with respect to species diversity, crop diversity, etc., which provides a rich amount of a well-evolved systems over time and background support for rich resources, the mining is a destructive activity generated by human beings for providing strength and security to their living standards. The mining in the concerned zones provides raw materials in the form of crusher, gravels and stones, etc. for construction of roads, railway lines, and other infrastructure. It results in the loss of biodiversity of both flora and fauna and physiographic features of the concerned region. After the mining operation in any area is over, the sign of same lie for decades and maybe forever. It results in creation of so many environment-related problems and health hazards. Mining poses serious and highly specific threats to biodiversity.
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Biodiversity is a term applied all the biological capital occurring within a particular area. It captures both variety, in terms of genes and species and processes, the complex and diverse interactions between different species and between living organisms and the non-living environment. Biodiversity is not static; climate, soil chemistry and genetic constantly change, altering the balance between species. Competition for resources forces the evolution of new species as well as co-evolution between those already present. Species that are less well adapted to the environment or unable to compete with others, may disappear, while others may take their place (MMSD, 2001). The mining is that a process in which the materials (stones) are removed from the sites by boring and blasting and then send for further processes like crushing, grinding, etc. Both types of mining either open cast or underground, cause destruction of natural scene. This activity has led to development in all the sectors viz. social, economic, transport, educational and industrial etc. in one hand and so many serious concerns related with physical, chemical and biological environment in another. There is no doubt as to make our society healthy and prosperous; environment which lay developmental foundation of a nation, must be healthy and prosperous (Musa & Jiya, 2011). Minerals are non-renewable limited natural resources and constitute vital raw materials in a number of basic and important industries. The extraction of minerals from nature often cause imbalances, which adversely affect the environment. The environment impacts of mining are on wildlife and fishery habitats, the local climates, water balance and the pattern of rainfall, the depletion of forest, sedimentation and the disruption of the ecology. Therefore, management of the country’s mineral resources must be closely associated with her overall economic development and environmental protection and preservation strategy. India has huge mineral resources. Thus, the mining industry is a very important industry in India (Mehta, 2002).

Sand is a naturally occurring granular material composed of finely divided rock and mineral particles. It is the most widely used product for different purpose with majority in construction industry. Sand and gravel are mined world-wide and account for the largest volume of solid material extracted globally. It is used in construction of buildings, house and other infrastructure projects (e.g. roads, bridges, airports etc.) thereby provides economic and social benefits to the country. Based on a rough estimation, it is estimated by MoM that the total consumption of sand in India is 700 million tonnes in 2016-17, which has been derived from the cement consumption (MoM, 2018b). Sand is mainly found in the oceans, coastal areas, rivers, lakes, streams, reservoirs, flood plains, deserts, agricultural fields, mountains and hills. Sand and gravel have long been used as aggregate for construction of building and roads. The demand for these materials continues to rise. The main source of sand is from in-stream mining. (MNREDIDM, 2009). Among all the sources, river bed is the most common and prevalent source of sand in the country. Sand is mined from these areas either manually or mechanically using machineries (MoM, 2018b). Industrial sand and gravel are produced, processed and used in construction and industry all over the world. As less expensive and readily accessible resource many companies are involved in its mining both legally and illegally without considering the damage they are causing to the environment (Tariro, 2013).

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