Sand lifting in Jomuneshwari, Atrai rivers threatening cropland, habitat

Our Correspondent | Published: November 30, 2017 01:01:06

Some influential people are lifting sand from the Atrai river under Manda upazila in Naogaon defying an official ban. The snap was taken on Wednesday. — FE Photo

RANGPUR, Nov 29: Mindless sand lifting is going on unabated from Jomuneshwari river at Balapara village of Ikorchali union of Taraganj upazila in Rangpur district, causing serious risk for the river bank, nearby establishments and cultivable lands.

A section of dishonest sand traders have been extracting sand illegally by sinking pipes into the bed of the river with dredgers from the area for long, but the authority concerned seems to be oblivious to the matter, locals alleged.

During a recent visit in the areas this correspondent found some dredgers lifting sand from riverbed. The extracted sand was then taken to different areas by a number of trolleys.

Locals said that a number of influential people are involved in such illegal act. Around 30-35 trolley loads of sand are being sold everyday from there. Per trolley sand is being sold at Tk 500 to Tk 800.

Asadul, a local farmer of Balapara area of the union said his 15 decimals of land have already gone under the river owing to illegal sand lifting from the river. Like Asadul, a number of farmers complained that during last few years they lost 25 per cent to 30 per cent of their croplands due to erosion caused by sand lifting. 

Locals also alleged they lodged complaint with the concerned authority in this regard, demanding immediate steps to stop rampant sand lifting from the river. But no step has so been taken, they further alleged.

In this circumstance the local people urged the concerned authorities to take immediate measures to stop sand lifting from the river and save heir croplands.

Meanwhile, our correspondent adds: In Naogaon, a group of local influential people have been lifting sand from Atrai river in Manda upazila of the district defying the ban of the authority concerned.

Some locals said some people are lifting sand from the river in their own interest. The authority cannot take any action. Villagers on the both sides of the river are worried for the present condition.

Farmer Faruq Hossain said he has recently lost two bighas of cropland due to erosion. Sand lifting sometimes leads river erosion.

One Kamal Hossain said he is lifting sand from the Atrai on taking a lease. He said if the local administration asks not to lift the sand, he would stop the work.

Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Nuruzzaman said if he gets legal allegation, he will take proper steps against the sand lifter. Meanwhile mobile court conducted drives in the noted area and fined some sand lifters.

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