This is a study, covering five states, on illegal sand mining. Once a free and low value material, sand has become increasingly valuable. Its utility has expanded worldwide with growing infrastructure and construction activities. In a growing country like India, excavation and use of sand pose challenge of balancing environment with socio economic prosperity. The practice of sand mining has become a major environmental issue apart from just being used as a material for infrastructure. Sand mining has expanded rapidly with commercial input and using mechanised equipments. Over extraction of sand by mafias has increased during last decades and there are instances of honest officials targeted who fought against illegal sand mining in different states.