Influential sand traders have allegedly been lifting sand illegally from Safurul Khal in Bhaigyakul area of Bandarban's Sadar upazila for long, causing serious erosion.
Local people submitted a memorandum to the Sadar Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO), requesting him to stop the lifters from illegally extracting sand, said Md Jamal Hossain, a ward member of the area, adding that the influential people, however, continued the illegal practice.
Villagers are cultivating different crops on the filled-up river bed but they may not be able to do so in future as the nearby lands are collapsing due to sand lifting.
“Erosion due to indiscriminate lifting of sand snatched my cropland. We went several times to the local administration office but they never visited our affected area,” said Shahidul Islam, a villager.
Safura Begum, another local, said villagers cannot stop the sand traders as they are local influential people having connection with powerful politicians.
Sand lifting with five dredgers has been continuing for the last few months, villagers said.
“As the area is remote, it is difficult to operate mobile court over there regularly. We have talked with the alleged sand lifters over mobile phone and told them not to lift sand from there anymore,” UNO Md Noman Hossain said.