Blonde woman with "2018" face painted across her face. | Foreign Correspondent featured image
S1 E18: Line in the Sand

Line in the Sand

The world is running low on sand. It's a basic ingredient in construction — think skyscrapers, shopping malls, roads and windows — and cities are growing faster and bigger than at any time in history.

In India, where the government promises to build the equivalent of a "new Chicago" every year, the demand is insatiable. Its construction industry is said to have tripled its sand consumption since 2000.

Legal supply can't keep up. So now organized criminals are hitting pay dirt, pillaging millions of tons of sand from the nation's beaches, riverbeds and hillsides. Construction wants sand hewn by water, not by wind. So it's waterways, not deserts, that face devastation.

The sand mafia is prepared to kill. Ask farmer Brijmohan Yadav. He took on illegal sand miners and was kidnapped and beaten. He now lives in hiding, away from his family, in fear for his life and theirs.

Or Akaash Chauhan, whose father was asleep at home when three men stormed in and shot him dead. He had complained about the sand mafia trashing communal land. Akaash's brother died mysteriously a year later.

Akaash guides the Foreign Correspondent team to where illegal miners are working. As the team films, a man confronts them.

With authorities paralyzed by inertia or corruption, it's up to a small band of activists to take the fight to the sand mafia and expose the dirty secret at the heart of India's construction frenzy.

Available until
2020-05-10T00:00:00-07:00
Category:

Full Episodes

Upcoming Airdates

On His Own Terms

This is the inside story of 104-year-old activist David Goodall’s last days in Europe as he farewells family and campaigns for the right to die, up to his final hour.

Blockchain Island

A tropical paradise is racked with bankruptcy then smashed by a killer hurricane. In rides a cavalry of digital evangelists selling hi-tech revolution. Will they save the day?

The Village

Sean Dorney got thrown out of PNG for his reporting, yet he received one of its top honors. He skippered its footy team and fell for a local girl. Now suffering motor neurone disease, he makes an emotional final visit.

To Burn Or Not to Burn?

There’s a new push in Australia to build incinerators to burn our waste. Is this the way to go? Foreign Correspondent sends Craig Reucassel to Sweden to investigate.

Machine Man

He fled Saddam Hussein’s brutality to become detainee #982 in an Australian refugee camp. Now Munjed al-Muderis is a world-leading surgeon giving amputees a second chance at life. Sophie McNeill tells his inspiring story.

  • 2020-06-09T21:00:00-07:00
    Link TV

A Big Piece of Good News

A wild piece of coast was threatened by malls and McMansions until a reclusive billionaire couple arrived with the gift of a lifetime. Zoe Daniel reports.

Eye of the Fire

It’s a Greek tale of tragedy, heroism and mind-blowing incompetence. Eric Campbell tells the story of the world’s deadliest bushfire since Australia’s Black Saturday in 2009 — and the fury in its aftermath.

Happy Birthday Mr President

Vladimir Putin crushes opponents, but a growing army of young Russians is fighting back. Their gift to the strongman on his 65th birthday? A show of defiance and a demand to quit. Eric Campbell reports.

  • 2020-06-16T21:00:00-07:00
    Link TV

Homeland

Berlin was Holocaust headquarters — but for young Israeli Jews it’s the paragon of cool. Eric Campbell tracks one of the odder modern migrations.

Bloodland

Are attacks on white South African farmers aimed at terrorizing them off the land? Should Australia offer them special haven, as some politicians have suggested? Jonathan Holmes investigates.

The Home Show

How do we make housing more affordable? What are other countries trying - and what bright ideas might we pinch from them?

  • 2020-06-23T21:00:00-07:00
    Link TV

The Battle for Rio

Democrat or despot? Brazil’s new strongman is cracking down on rampant crime – but many fear the “Trump of the Tropics” is turning his country into a police state. Sally Sara reports.

Opioid America

A secretive billionaire family pushes a pill that triggers more deaths than guns or car crashes. From backwoods Appalachia to hi tech San Francisco, Conor Duffy investigates America’s opioid scourge.