A mobile court under Bogura district administration today destroyed three shallow machines and seized six more for illegally lifting sand from the Korotoa river.
The mobile court, led by Assistant Commissioner (land) Beer Amir Hamza, conducted the drive at Shekherkola, Shakharia and Nishindhara from 2:00pm to 7:00pm, reports our Bogura correspondent.
"In the monthly law and order meeting, the district administration took the decision to conduct a raid against illegal sand traders," Hamza told The Daily Star.
Locals have pointed the finger of blame for the sand lifting and the resultant erosion at Thengamara Mohila Sabuj Sangha (TMSS), an influential local NGO, and other sand traders.
Md Azizur Rahman, upazila nirbahi officer of Bogura Sadar upazila said, "Around a month ago, locals complained that TMSS and 15-17 sand traders have been lifting sand from the river.
Following a law and order meeting we have conducted another drive today," the UNO said. During the drive, around 200 locals, all victims of river erosion due to illegal sand lifting, gathered on the spot.
Altab Ali (60) of Janglepara village in Sadar upazila said, "Farmland and an important bridge are now under threat of erosion after TMSS and others continued to lift sand illegally from the river."
Md Bappi Khan (34), a resident of Baruipara village told The Daily Star, "There are 15 shallow machines under the TMSS NGO which have been lifting sand illegally for many years. And now, over 100 bighas of cropland has already eroded into the river."
On July 26 this year, farmers from five villages -- Baruipara, Janglepara, Baulpara, Bonomalipara and Namapara -- under the Shekherkola union organised a human chain at the Bogura Satmatha point, protesting illegal sand lifting.