Key Messages

Sand is an essential element in concrete and hence plays an important role in the construction and infrastructure industry in a modern economy. It is typically sourced from riverbeds which are located in ecologically sensitive areas. Hence, excessive mining leads to the degradation of riverbeds, which affects the local groundwater system, potential biodiversity and the recreational potential of these regions. A large quantity of the official sand production per year in Karnataka is currently sourced from riverbed mining, some of which is also imported from neighbouring states. This study estimates the current demand for sand to be 26 Mt (in 2014) and the future demand to grow between 56 and 81 Mt per year. The study suggests alternate viable materials to meet the demand. Based on superior technical performance and availability of manufactured sand, recommendations are also proposed.