Q. Which of the following is/are consequence/s of sand mining?
1.Forces the river to change its course.
2.Depletion of groundwater tables.
3.Adversely impacting the habitat of micro-organisms.
Choose the correct answer from below given codes:

[A] 1 only

[B] 1 and 2 only

[C] 2 and 3 only

[D] 1, 2 and 3

Answer: D

Explanation: Environmental consequences of sand mining:

  • Forcing the river to change its course: Sand and boulders prevent the river from changing the course and act as a buffer for the riverbed.
  • Illegally dredged sand is equivalent to robbing water: Sand holds a lot of water, and when it is mindlessly mined and laden on to trucks, large quantities of water is lost in transit.
  • Depletion of groundwater tables: Sand, on a riverbed it acts as a link between the flowing river and the water table and is part of the aquifer.
  • For e.g.: Illegal and excessive sand mining in the riverbed of the Papagani catchment area in Karnataka has led to the depletion of groundwater levels and environmental degradation in the villages on the banks of the river in both Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
  • Adversely impacting the habitat of micro-organisms: There are a lot of micro-organisms that are not visible and widely known, but are critical to soil structure and fertility. When sand is dredged, literally it takes away their habitat.

Source: SHANKAR IAS Environment