suryanarayanan k
4 min readMar 18, 2024


Sand, Land and Water turned Gold

Bhoomi [land] Jala [water] were revered as functional parts of five elements or nature

Humans for ages, pray for rains to fill the rivers, lakes and ponds

Since 21st century, self centered fragments of human race prayed for dry weather to let the rivers, lakes and ponds, go dry

Sands on these beds began to glitter for these humans who sensed an opportunity to turn them into gold

A natural resource, sand was turned into a commodity that generates enormous wealth with an ever increasing demand which depleted the resources at an alarming rate

The high rate of urbanization and urban growth accelerated the growth of the construction industry which is the largest consumer of this natural material

Industrialization and capitalism encouraged migration from rural to urban which resulted in large population sharing limited land space in the developing metro cities

Mud walls and thatched roofs gave way to multistoried concrete structures which consumed enormous quantity of sand

Across the nation (india), construction activities require a whooping 70 million tons of sand per year which is slated to grow at a compounded annual rate of 6.2% in the coming years

As these cities expanded to accommodate the ever increasing demand for residential, industrial and commercial spaces

Real Estate barons conveniently converted the dry lake and pond beds into land parcels that soon found high rise structures built on them which sucked the ground water level to dry

Extensive sand mining has damaged the delicate ecosystem of rivers and changed the ecological equilibrium of rivers that endangered aquatic and riparian biodiversity 
Billions of people depend on the rivers for their drinking, livelihoods and irrigation as rivers are their major source for water

As the rivers dried, the lakes and ponds went dry causing the groundwater level sinking to alarming depths in major metro cities of which a few have reported near zero water level

Sand, Land and now its the waters turn to reap rich dividends to these greedy humans whose single minded focus on wealth blinded their vision on the enormity of the catastrophe caused by their actions

Covid period slowed down these activities and gave a breather for nature but post lockdown, this demon returned with vengeance to further deplete the natural resources at a faster space

Today it's a common sight of water tankers plying 24/365 at major metro cities, suburban landscapes gradually turning into concrete on canvass and consistent inflow of migrants

As per law, any action will face a equal and opposite reaction, which apply to growth too, hence while the world sees science and technology growing, nature would face the negative effects of these growth aspects

The barons who have been milking nature's resources dry must wake up to the fact that all the wealth that they amass for their generations will become pointless if there's no earth to live

Yes, of the five elements of nature, 3 elements are constantly impacted which would change the functional equilibrium of earth or nature and the world is already witnessing enough of such signs

Growth is essential and so is nature conservation and one best way to address this is by encouraging reverse migration

Responsible industrial giants across the globe have realized the importance of this and are focusing to shift their activities to tier 2 and 3 cities

Eons earlier, when the entire population converged on a location (pole) on our planet to witness a celestial wedding, a single sage was sent to the opposite pole to equate

No such sage walk our earth these days and hence its either prevail or perish kind of situation

Virtual reality since is a real possibility, metro cities can be decongested by encouraging Remote Work option

The younger generation prefer to work from natural surroundings that offer ample breathing space and abundant green cover

Travel time is rapidly reducing due to improved infrastructure and travel modes which will make the periodical necessity to commute, quite convenient

Where the corporates go, there the service providers will follow which will bring latest technology to these cities and make them suitable for long term residence

A chair can seat a single person comfortably, two will crowd and the 3rd and 4th will break the chair, similarly

A city can accommodate X people conveniently, 2X it can manage but at 10X, the city is bound to collapse

There are existing incentives to take this reverse migration efforts forward and the government will also step in, in time with further gift hampers to make this happen

All that's required is the “will” to bring a change which will answer the “wish” of Nature

* Sincere prayers for our generations to find our planet, In tact

Reflection on the interplay between human activities, urbanization, and environmental consequences is deeply profound. The exploitation of natural resources like sand and water, coupled with rapid urban growth, presents a stark reality of the challenges we face in maintaining a sustainable balance with nature.

The shift towards remote work options and encouraging reverse migration to tier 2 and 3 cities indeed holds promise in easing the burden on mega cities and preserving natural ecosystems. It's crucial for industrial giants and policymakers to prioritize conservation alongside development to ensure a livable planet for future generations.

Call for collective will and action resonates strongly, highlighting the urgent need for a harmonious coexistence between human progress and ecological preservation. May we all work towards finding solutions that uphold the integrity of our planet.