GS Paper III Mains 2019 Question Analysis

  • Coastal sand mining, whether legal or illegal, poses one of the biggest threats to our environment. Analyse the impact of sand mining along the Indian coasts, citing specific examples.

Mains Assignment Question

Coastal sand mining, whether legal or illegal, poses one of the biggest threats to our environment. Analyse the impact of sand mining along the Indian coasts, citing specific examples. (150 Words)

Subjects : Environment, Biodiversity & Climate Change

Answer Approach :
  • INTRODUCTION: Define sand mining and highlight the reason of the problem at hand.
  • BODY: How sand mining has impacted the Indian Coast with suitable examples.
  • Conclusion: Way to mitigate the problem of sand mining.

Punit Tiwari

India is one of the fastest developing economy  and in order to develop its infrastructure a huge requirement of natural resources such as sand arises. However in order to get this natural resource has a big environmental cost.

Impacts of sand mining:

  1. Sand mining ag coastal areas lead to deepening of rivers as well as enlargement of river mouths.
  2. It also leads to turbidity in water which prevents sunlight from entering the sea to a certain depth which is required by coral reefs as well as fishes thus affecting their biodiversity.
  3. It also poses a danger to many migratory species like olive Ridley turtles and thus destroying their breeding grounds and affecting their population. 
  4. Also makes coastal areas more prone to floods as these act as a natural barriers eg. due to excessive sand mining in Karnataka coast had lead to flood vulnerability and thus forcing Karnataka to build artificial barriers. 
  5. It also poses a threat to mangroves and thus reducing the natural barriers against typhoon which protected many areas in storms eg. Titli typhoon.
  6. Changes course of river like Saryu river has changed its course thus flooding many areas.
  7. Salination of ground water like in TamilNadu.
  8. Affects tourism industry the affecting economy and opportunities of employment. 
  9. Also poses respiratory ailments for labourers working with sand as well as multiple violent conflicts among mine-owners.

Way forward:

  1. Coastal Regulation rules should be applied strictly. 
  2. Heavy fines over violation of rules for eg. Andhra government had been fined due to inaction to protect sand coast.
  3. Enabling the local bodies like panchayat and municipalities to protect the biodiversity.
  4. Promoting and organising more awareness campaigns among local people. 
  5. More reforms in companies act and industrial regulations act for regulation of use of natural resources.

Thus,  with India's low per capita carbon emissions  its participation in Paris climate change and voluntary participation in Bonn challenge is a much welcome step in this direction.

Feedback:
Rating :
★★★★★★★★★★ ★★★★★★★★★★
(5/10)

India is one of the fastest developing economy  and in order to develop its infrastructure a huge requirement of natural resources such as sand arises. However in order to get this natural resource has a big environmental cost. (Introduction is satisfactory as it exhibits the need of sand for developing country like India but lacks in delivering the idea of sand mining as a threat.)

Impacts of sand mining:

  1. Sand mining ag (?) coastal areas lead to deepening of rivers as well as enlargement of river mouths. (Good point. Better if you can provide any example.)
  2. It also leads to turbidity in water which prevents sunlight from entering the sea to a certain depth which is required by coral reefs as well as fishes thus affecting their biodiversity. (You should give example here like Gulf of Mannar and Gulf of Kutch)
  3. It also poses a danger to many migratory species like olive Ridley turtles and thus destroying their breeding grounds and affecting their population. 
  4. Also makes coastal areas more prone to floods as these act as a natural barriers eg. due to excessive sand mining in Karnataka coast had lead to flood vulnerability and thus forcing Karnataka to build artificial barriers. (Good)
  5. It also poses a threat to mangroves and thus reducing the natural barriers against typhoon which protected many areas in storms eg. Titli typhoon.
  6. Changes course of river like Saryu river has changed its course thus flooding many areas.
  7. Salination of ground water like in TamilNadu.
  8. Affects tourism industry(Link is missing here) the affecting economy and opportunities of employment. 
  9. Also poses respiratory ailments for labourers working with sand as well as multiple violent conflicts among mine-owners.

Way forward:

  1. Coastal Regulation rules should be applied strictly. 
  2. Heavy fines over violation of rules for eg. Andhra government had been fined due to inaction to protect sand coast. (Merge it with above written point)
  3. Enabling the local bodies like panchayat and municipalities to protect the biodiversity.
  4. Promoting and organising more awareness campaigns among local people.  (Merge this point with point no 3)
  5. More reforms in companies act and industrial regulations act for regulation of use of natural resources.

Thus,  with India's low per capita carbon emissions  its participation in Paris climate change and voluntary participation in Bonn challenge is a much welcome step in this direction.

Overall Feedback:

  • Your content quality and hit on demand is good.
  • Language is simple and expression is good.
  • You could have made a flowchart to write lesser significant points like Point no 7, 8 & 9, in order to reduce words limit.
  • In Way forward few points could be merged with another to save words such as point no 1& 2 and 3&4.
  • Proper examples of affected areas should be provided.
  • Answer is good in terms of content but is not in words limit. Try adopting method of using flow chart to reduce word limit.
  • You will loose marks if cross the words limit, so be cautious.

All the best!

Chirag Gupta

Sand mining refers to the process of extracting sand from the areas like coastal regions , river beds and inland dunes for manufacturing concrete , mixture to prevent ice on roads and various other needs.

Increase in demand for concrete has paved way for illegal sand mining resulting in the erosion of river banks resulting in increased flooding and loss of habitat.

Coastal mining lowers the stream bottom leading to bank erosion causing various problems like

  • Deepening of rivers and estuaries as well as enlargement of river mouths and coastal outlets
  • Salt water intrusion into the coastal areas as happened in the state of Tamilnadu where the groundwater turned salty
  • Threat to bridges , river banks and nearby structures
  • Destruction of aquatic and riparian habitat like  reduction in the population of dolphins in the Ganges river
  •  Affecting mangroves forest at Tuticorin increasing the chances of natural disasters like cyclone to affect the coastline badly.
  • Tremendous impact on the tourism sector resulting in reduction of revenue to the government
  • Sand mining causes lot of respiratory problems to the workers as well as society affecting the overall health of the society. 

What can be done?

  • Imposing heavy fines on illegal sand mining . For example Andhra pradesh govt has imposed fine of Rs 100 crores on those who do not curb sand mining.
  • Time to time inspections and raids at the site where illegal mining is taking place
  • Coastal regulation rules to be applied strictly
  • Anti sand mining network lobby to be created in every state like created in Goa in order to quicken the closure of illegal mining.
  • Sensitizing the locals regarding the harmful impacts of sand mining .
  •  Providing proper safety equipments to the workers working in the sand mines.
  • The mined out pit should be filled again so that degradation does not occur.

The growth of illegal sand mining is causing a huge problem to the society and environment and if not stopped then in no time the coastal areas will turn into islands so the government has to take smart steps to curb this problem

Feedback:
Rating :
★★★★★★★★★★ ★★★★★★★★★★
(4/10)

Sand mining refers to the process of extracting sand from the areas like coastal regions , river beds and inland dunes for manufacturing concrete , mixture to prevent ice on roads and various other needs. (Introduction is good and apt but you need to cut it short and that is why few words are not needed here)

Increase in demand for concrete has paved way for illegal (Focus of question is sand mining and not legal or illegal, so for the erosion of rivers do not blame only illegal sand mining) sand mining resulting in the erosion of river banks resulting in  ,hence, increased flooding and loss of habitat. (You need to merge these two paragraphs in order to save words.)

Coastal mining lowers the stream bottom leading to bank erosion causing various problems like

  • Deepening of rivers and estuaries as well as enlargement of river mouths and coastal outlets
  • Salt water intrusion into the coastal areas as happened in the state of Tamilnadu where the groundwater turned salty.
  • Threat to bridges , river banks and nearby structures (Any example?)
  • Destruction of aquatic and riparian habitat like  reduction in the population of dolphins in the Ganges river. (Good example)
  • Affecting mangroves forest at Tuticorin increasing the chances of natural disasters like cyclone to affect the coastline badly. (You can give example of cyclone  Gaja)
  • Tremendous impact on the tourism sector resulting in reduction of revenue to the government
  • Sand mining causes lot of respiratory problems to the workers as well as society affecting the overall health of the society. (You need to substantiate you above written two points )

What can be done?

  • Imposing heavy fines on illegal sand mining . For example Andhra pradesh govt has imposed fine of Rs 100 crores on those who do not curb sand mining.
  • Time to time inspections and raids at the site where illegal mining is taking place
  • Coastal regulation rules to be applied strictly (Above stated all three points can be merged in single point.)
  • Anti sand mining network lobby to be created in every state like created in Goa in order to quicken the closure of illegal mining. (Good suggestion and well substantiated)
  • Sensitizing the locals regarding the harmful impacts of sand mining .
  • Providing proper safety equipments to the workers working in the sand mines. (you can choose to skip less relevant points)
  • The mined out pit should be filled again so that degradation does not occur.

The growth of illegal sand mining is causing a huge problem to the society and environment and if not stopped then in no time the coastal areas will turn into islands  (this is not needed here) so the government has to take smart steps to curb this problem

 

Overall Feedback:

  • You well understand the demand of the question and write in the direction of the demand of the question.
  • You arrange your points in orderly fashion i.e. decreasing order of significance but still little bit of harmony is required.
  • Always try to substantiate your view by giving example in short.
  • You can use flowcharts in order to reduce the length of the answer as you have crossed words limit by more than double.
  • Language is good but presentation requires improvement(use of flowchart or any other way of presentation enable you to reduce length without compromising quantity of content.)
  • Latter part of the answer need more synchronisation according to the demand of the question and should be made short as length of the way forward cannot be almost equal to the length of the main content body. Remove the highlighted content.
  • overall content competency and orientation of content is good.

All the best!

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Description

Introduction:Sand mining is the extraction of sand through an open pit or via mining of inland dunes from oceans, river beds and beaches. Sand is an important component for construction activities. Rapidly urbanizing India is facing huge demand-supply gap, which is giving rise to unscientific sand mining.

Body:
Sand mining has negatively impacted -
1. River biodiversity such as Gangetic Dolphin and Gharial: Destruction of aquatic and riparian habitat through changes in the channel morphonology.
2. River banks/beds – causing flooding and change of river course E.g. Kerala floods.
3. Shrinking of river deltas: Mining is responsible for drop in sediment levels in rivers.
E.g. Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta has led to destruction of mangrove forests.
4. Marine ecosystem: Increased turbidity of water is harmful for organisms like coral that need sunlight. For example, Gulf of Mannar and Gulf of Kutch
5. Destruction of beaches causing loss of coastal ecosystem.






Conclusion:
We should explore options like manufactured sand and import of sand. Moreover, there is a need to generate popular public opinion on the matter to bring about an end to this menace.

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