Illegal sand lifting
In a welcome move, the mobile court jailed and fined 14 people for illegally lifting sand near the Bangabandhu Bridge in Bhuapur upazila of Tangail. We hope this will act as a deterrent to the unlawful practice of sand lifting from under bridges, which has become a very lucrative business across the country, according to reports. Organised syndicates of influential people with political clout had been extracting sand from the Jamuna River near the bridge violating government order.
Construction of bridges is one of the most expensive and time consuming public projects. It makes absolutely no sense to spend taxpayer's money to build them and then turning a blind eye to criminal activities that contribute to their premature destruction. How can these unscrupulous groups operate under the nose of the local administration? Are we to assume that there is a nexus between the two? And under what circumstances do the law enforcement agencies fail to arrest people involved in this crime?
There must be a limit to lawlessness. Illegal sand lifting is something that mocks the vision of the government to provide the country with adequate infrastructure. It is good that the mobile court in Tangail has risen to the occasion but it's not enough. The Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges and district administrations around the country should exercise constant vigilance over spots where sand is lifted illegally causing damage to bridges, defying the Sand Fields and Soil Management Act, 2010.