Beas Tragedy: Water was released to facilitate ‘Sand Mafia’ ?
The New York Times said in editorial “Erosion of Trust in India”:
“The water was released from a dam upstream, apparently to deposit sand on the riverbed for easy mining. That release, and the drownings it caused, have been attributed to the “sand mafia,” a nexus of corrupt officials and the sand miners they let loot a basically free natural resource. An essential ingredient in cement, sand has seen its value soar along with the fortunes of India’s equally corrupt construction industry. The legal orders have had little effect. Authorities who try to crack down on illegal sand mining, and journalists, environmentalists or local farmers who try to document abuses, are regularly attacked with guns, knives and trucks that try to mow them down. Government officials who have gone after the sand mafia have found themselves suspended from their duties.”