Threat to agriculture, livelihood
People in Chandrapara area of Sadarpur upazila in the district face serious pollution threat as well as risk of erosion as mindless lifting of sand from Arial Kha river goes unabated.
The illegal practice is also posing a threat to agriculture and the livelihood of riverside people.
During a recent visit to the area this correspondent spotted four excavators engaged in sand lifting from the riverbed while 30 trucks were seen transporting the sand to different areas in the upazila.
A few locals, seeking not to be named, said some local influential people, including Islam Sheikh, Jalil Sing, Harun Howlader, Mostofa Mollah and Monju Sarang have been continuing the illegal lifting of sand for quite some time.
Excavator operator Swapon Sheikh, an employee of Islam Sheikh of Chandapara, said he has been engaged in the job since the end of November last year.
An excavator machine can lift 80 to 90 trucks of sand daily, sand worker Ripon Boyati said, adding that each truck of sand is being sold for Tk 1,300 to Tk 1,400.
Masud Khalifa, 21, a resident of the area, said, “Every time loaded trucks pass the area we face serious breathing problems due to the dust.''
Abdul Bapari, 67, of the area said, “I planted nut on my 64 decimals of land along the Arial Kha river, which is now facing a serious erosion threat.
Dheukhali Union Parishad Chairman Omar Faruk Bapari said although local people often raised their voices against the sand trading, they did not get any help from the locals administration.
Sadarpur Upazila Nirbahi Officer Purobi Golder said she raided the area three times already and seized some excavator machines as well.
Executive Engineer Sultan Mahmud of Faridpur Water Development Board said he was unaware about the matter.
Legal steps will be taken against the perpetrators soon, he said.