What would happen if we run out of sand ?

I came across this interesting article and thought of posting it here. What would happen to construction industry if we run out of Sand. Our traditional construction requires sand in huge quantity and mindless sand quarrying has put both the put enviroment in jeopardy.

There are solutions but will it ever be implemented though feasible?. I think soon we would be seeing days when Sand would arrive in chennai by sea from rajasthan.And if one thought construction cost and home prices would decrease or will remain the same, then your home of dreams will remain a dream.

His is not a lonely voice. But a few — whether it is an individual or an organisation — are able to place an argument against sand quarrying as effectively as Prof. S. Neelakantan, former director of Madras Institute of Developmental Studies. His book ‘Oru Nagaramum oru Gramamum’ gives an apocalyptic warning of a desertified Tamil Nadu consequent to mindless sand quarrying going on in Tamil Nadu’s rives with the support of heartless politicians and officials. His village Chettipalayam, a victim of sand quarrying in the Amaravathy river, is a microcosm of Tamil Nadu. Helplessly watching his orchard gradually turning into a desert due to complete depletion of ground water table, he makes a fervent plea for a ban on sand quarrying in Tamil Nadu’s river beds.

“A great tragedy is unfolding before my eyes. I don’t see any hope for agriculture in Chettipalayam. Palar is dead. Amaravathy is almost dead. Cauvery will die soon if we continue sand mining,” says 73-year old Prof. Neelakantan, who returned to his village in 1996 to pursue his passion — agriculture.

Years of teaching economics in colleges and later in Bharathidasan University and a Fulbright Scholarship under Nobel Laureate Douglass C. North has not diminished his passion a bit. He introduced drip irrigation in his orchards. His joy disappeared in 5 years as there is no ground water.

“Amaravathy used to provide drinking water for entire Karur town. Now it is not even able to supply water to the villages on its bank. We have to depend on Cauvery water,” says Prof. Neelakantan. His book captures the dynamics of socio-economic transformation in the Kongu region in the language of a gripping fiction. “How can you stop sand mining? Will it not bring the entire construction industry to a halt? These are the questions normally raised when you demand a ban on sand mining. My question is what are you going to do after 10 years when all the rivers in Tamil Nadu will be left with no sand? Stop it and impose a ban as Kerala has done. Think about the alternative,” he says.

And Prof. Neelakantan has the alternative. He says that sand in the deserts of Rajasthan can be brought to Tamil Nadu through pipes.

Iron ore in Kudremukh in Western Ghats is transported through pipelines running through districts of Udupi and Dakshina Kannada up to the Panambur plant adjacent to the New Mangalore Port. The ore is pelletised and exported to countries such as China, Iran, Japan, Taiwan, etc by ships. He had discussed the plan with the U.S.-based civil engineer J.N. Ramasamy, who found it feasible.

“The cost involved in this project may look high. But when you compare the cost involved in bringing the soil in thousands of lorries, it will not be a bad idea,” he says.

Source: The hindu.

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