INVESTIGATION-Drowning for sand: miners risk all for India's building boom

by Roli Srivastava | @Rolionaroll | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Tuesday, 18 July 2017 00:00 GMT

Workers haul up a bucket of sand from the Vasai creek at Bhiwandi, Thane, India on May 2, 2017. THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION/STRINGER

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By Roli Srivastava

MUMBAI, July 18 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - At dawn on a sultry summer morning, Balaram Raute stood on a boat bobbing in a murky creek outside Mumbai, waiting for the sun to light up the water so he could dive in to dig sand.

Minutes later he was neck-deep in Vasai Creek where untreated chemicals and industrial waste float - and, at times, the corpses of fellow workers.

While Indian authorities and mining officials deny the existence or the dangers of an illegal sand mining industry, a Thomson Reuters Foundation investigation found miners are dying to meet rising demand from a booming construction sector.

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Miners risk all for India's building boom.

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