A Sheer Murder of the River
According to the community, the rampant sand mining is visible for 30 years. Rapid digging of river bed of Aavara River is operational 20 hours a day with continuous movement of trolleys in and out the villages. A count by localities says 600 trucks (19,200 ton) carries the sand daily to Udaipur city which is 55 km from the periphery of 1000 ha area of study villages.
Massive degradation of the river at such an escalating speed has almost finished the water holding capacity of the river; livelihood based agricultural activities are being disturbed; the floral and faunal loss has affected the animal husbandry trends. The river is deepening at the rate of 4.7 ft per year. Agriculture is toppling to 2 kg loss per year almost making the sustainable livelihoods the unsustainable ones.
Estimates show that the involvement of people in migration and labour work rather than agriculture and animal husbandry will increase in coming years. With 2 people per family migration to cities will touch to 3 persons.
Viewing the situation of sand mining and its affect 5 villages have been taken under the scanner of the study. To track the proliferation of mining and its effects the case here is studied from the last 4 years to the present year. Bori, Aavara, Gudel, Kalodia and Dhimidi villages located at 55 km from Udaipur are believed to highlight the case at the national level and bring the relief to other communities as well. The study revolves around the implications, involvement of the village population in sand mining activities, and reforms were undertaken to combat sand mining.
Implications are the eroding soils of the river Aavara; receding water level in the wells; loss of livelihood based activities agriculture and livestock; loss of flora; diseases spread due to water contamination. Involvement of the village population in sand mining activities: involvement of the population inland leasing and labour; value chain of sand mining. As one of the revolutionising study, this also seeks the reforms undertaken to combat sand mining – alternative livelihoods; measures to be taken; efforts made; and mass movement of people against such life taking process. Observations tell that scope of mining is also becoming refined in itself. The advent of technology has made the process an efficient and high yielding job. The study also incorporates the advent of JCBs, dumpers and large sieves which are able to hold more tons a day.