Sand is a mineral and often thought to be renewable. However, the world is actually running out of sand. Sand is also a huge corruption and governance problem across the planet and its turned deadly. And its worst in India. M. Rajshekhar recently wrote a devastating 3 part series (one, two and three) on sand mining in Tamil Nadu.
For the first time after five years, the Goa government has recently issued 360 permits to extract sand. More are being issued. One would hope that the Government is following the Zero Loss Mining principle, and at a minimum, auctioning the permits for sand mining. However, it seems that they are being issued on a first come first serve basis. If this is the case, then it is clearly open to legal challenge.
It would be especially odd because in Goa, even beach shacks licences and feni permits are auctioned. The 2G, coal and 2G presidential reference judgements have made the principle clear that maximum value must be generated from sale of natural resources, and auctions are probably the best way. Surely sand mining licences can be auctioned?