In the last year, illegally mining sand has accounted for at least two deaths in western India, according to Reuters. Government officials will soon offer alternative employment for men who risk their lives working those jobs.
“A Maharashtra state official also announced plans to legalize and regulate sand mining along Vasai Creek outside Mumbai by auctioning sites.”
An investigation showed several unreported deaths in some of the poorest regions where nearly 75,000 men dive 40 feet into very dark waters to fill iron buckets with sand.
A deputy commissioner from the state of Maharashtra explained, “We have asked the district heads of Thane (city) and Palghar district to give these workers employment in their districts. We have also instructed the district heads to stop all illegal excavations.”
In many areas of India, announcements are posted warning that sand mining is illegal and that the practice poses dangers to the coastlines and marine life.