Students of PC Nall Memorial High School in Netrakona are deprived of playing as hundreds of sand-laden vehicles have been plying through a portion of the school playground for years.
The school is situated on the bank of the Sumeswary river in Durgapur upazila headquarters.
A group of local traders have been using the school playground for sand trade for a decade, said locals, adding that the traders lift sand from the river and stack the extracted sand nearby and trucks take it to different districts of the country.
Established in 1896, the school is run by Garo Baptist Convention (GBC) in Durgapur. It has some 500 students.
Around 400 sand-laden trucks and lorries ply through the school playground every day and a group of vested quarter realises Tk 200 to Tk 250 as toll from each vehicle, said local people.
Headmaster Md Fazlul Haque said Prof Samerendra Sangma, president of the school managing committee, lodged a case with a Netrakona court in 2016 and the court then imposed a ban on plying of sand-laden vehicles on the school ground for six months. No sand-laden trucks ply through the playground during the time.
Despite repeated pleas, the authorities are yet to take any steps to stop plying of the sand-laden vehicles, said the headmaster.
Turya Turon Mree, a ninth grader of the school, said they cannot play at the ground due to indiscriminate plying of sand-laden trucks and lorries.
To reach school, they have to cross the road amid risk of accident every day, said Turya.
Above all, sound pollution is a very serious menace when they attend classes, said Omar Faruq, a tenth grader of the school.
Pankaj Marak, president of a majority faction of GBC in Durgapur, said many guardians are sending their kids to another school to avoid risk of accident.
Once the school was famous for its football team in Netrakona but now the children are deprived of playing, lamented Pankaj.
Md Alal Uddin, a sand trader and also the president of Durgapur upazila Awami League, said "Whether it's blessing or curse, sand trading is now going on in the area in full swing."
Mayor of Durgapur municipality Abdus Salam said he is not aware of it. But he will look into the matter.
Upazila Nirbahi Officer Farzana Khanam said necessary steps will be taken in this regard after investigation.