An influential group of sand lifters has been lifting soil unabated from next to the bank of river Ghagot, threatening erosion of Gaibandha town protection dyke in the next rainy season.
Sand traders have been lifting sand and soil from the river bed for a long time using tractor trolley, and selling those to the consumers who need earth filling for building homes and other establishments. The labourers remain busy daylong loading soil on trolleys and taking them to different destinations, which adversely affects the roads, complained local people.
If digging of the river bed is not stopped, the town protection dyke may collapse at any time during the rainy season, flooding vast tracts of municipal areas and dwelling houses under knee to waist deep water, feared the dwellers.
In the 2017 rainy season, the dyke turned vulnerable at six points, from where water seeped through. Local people together with workers of Water Development Board (WDB) stopped the seepage and saved the dyke from being breached, villagers said.
Prior to construction of the town protection dyke around two decades ago, Gaibandha town remained under knee to waist deep water in every rainy season, causing untold suffering to town dwellers. It needed at least 15 days for stagnant water to recede.
WDB constructed the dyke to save the town from flood water, but now the dyke has turned vulnerable at many points and in every rainy season water seeps through holes and cracks.
Local people demanded immediate halt to lifting of sand from river bed and repair of vulnerable points in the dyke, so that the dyke is not breached by surging water in the rainy season.