Illegal sand lifting from the Jamuna river at Nilkuthi in Saghata upazila has threatened the protection embankment and a housing project for the homeless.
The sand lifting from the river has been continuing for the last few months by a group of sand traders with four dredgers.
Due to the unabated extraction during the dry season, deep ditches have been created and an area of about 100 square metres is on the verge of collapse.
If the extraction of sand is not stopped, an under-construction sluice gate, Gajaria housing project and the river bank protection programme will be affected in the rainy season, locals said.
Locals said they asked the sand traders to stop lifting sand, but they refused to listen to their the request.
Some local influential people have set up dredgers to extract sand and sell it at high price to contractors working at different construction sites, they added.
Local people submitted a memorandum to the Saghata Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO), requesting him to stop the lifters from illegaly extracting sand, said Bharatkhali Union Parishad Chairman Shamsul Azad Siton, adding that the influential people, however, continued the illegal practice.
UNO Ujjal Kumar Ghosh said legal action is being taken against the criminals as the local office of Water Development Board has filed a general diary (GD) in this connection with Saghata Police Station.