101 East

India’s Line in the Sand

India’s construction boom feeds an illegal sand mining industry where gangs stop at nothing in their quest for profits.

In India, sand is now almost as valuable as gold.

A massive construction boom is driving demand for concrete – and sand is the essential ingredient.

But a shortage of legal sand means there’s plenty of unmet demand.

Organised criminals are seizing the opportunity, pillaging millions of tonnes of sand from the nation’s beaches, riverbeds and hillsides.

101 East follows the brave activists risking their lives in the fight to stop this lucrative black market trade.

Join the conversation @AJ101East