Construction Technology has opted for the use of concrete and the new constructions are coming up very fast every day. The requirement of sand has thus increased. Sand being minor mineral, it is governed by the Mines & Mineral (Regulation Development) Act 1957 and Bombay Minor Minerals Exploration rules 1955. Another set of rule, which may be applicable in some cases is Maharashtra Land Revenue (Extraction and removal of minor minerals) Rules 1968.
The District Collectors are auctioning the right of sand every year. Indiscriminate sand mining is affecting the natural ground water recharge procedure in some parts. A petition (WP No. 1310/97) was filed in this regard by Village Panchayat, Co-Operative Irrigation Societies and individuals in Hon. Mumbai High Court
Hon. The court in its interim order, on 18/4/1998, issued directives for the sand extraction from the riverbeds. It has been directed by the Hon. The court that the Senior Geologist of the concerned district will take up the survey work, on the spots, recommended by the District collector for verification. On the recommendation of the Senior Geologist, the District Collector will auction the Sites for Sand extraction. Further the Hon. Court has instructed Secretary Department of Revenue and Forest Government of Maharashtra, to prepare guidelines. Instructing District Collectors and all Subordinates for the periodical check to examine, whether sand is being lifted up to the permitted quantity, as per the recommendations of the Senior Geologist.
Accordingly, District Senior Geologist has to issue a certificate on the extraction of sand from riverbeds, after conducting geohydrological survey & assessing the annual replenishment of sand in the river beds
Since 1998 to March 2007 the Department has received 18410 cases out of which 16404 cases were surveyed 12060 sites were recommended.