Illegal sand lifting at several spots along the Padma River has led to erosion of farmlands in its vicinity.
An influential quarter has long been using dredger vessels to lift sands from the river near Barail, Sarishaban, Baghbari and Birta areas at Munshiganj point at nighttime and transporting those to other areas by bulkhead vessels.
During a recent visit to Munshiganj point, the UNB correspondent found a dredger vessel anchored near Sarishaban village on the northern bank of the river.
Locals alleged that dredging is done at nighttime by the local UP chairman without permission. Later, the sands are loaded on bulkhead vessels for transportation to distant areas.
The locals whose lands are being eroded or stand threatened with the erosion keep mum in fear of reprisal.
Abul Hashem, a resident of the area, alleged that the dredging during the last monsoon has led to the erosion of his two bigha farmland into the riverbank.
Contacted, Kamarkhara UP chairman and the owner of the dredging vessel,’Al Madina Dredger’, admitted that he has been conducting the dredging, but not inside the district.
The dredging is being done in parts of the river that are inside the bordering Shariatpur district, he said adding that he has the approval of the district administration for the dredging.
However, Shariatpur deputy commissioner Md Mahmudul Hossain told UNB over phone that the district administration has not approved any lease for sand lifting anywhere in the district.
Additional deputy commissioner (revenue) of Shariatpur Md Fazle Azim said they have already instructed the upazila nirbahi officer of Tangibari to take necessary steps against illegal sand lifting in the area.
Regional Desk (UNB)