• Saturday, Feb 04, 2023
  • Last Update : 09:54 am

Illegal sand lifting continues unabated in Jamalpur

  • Published at 11:40 am June 13th, 2020
Dosani River in Islampur upzila
Sand lifters set up a dredger machine in the middle of Dosani River in Islampur upazila, Jamalpur Dhaka Tribune

Locals said vacuum in the riverbed, caused by the sand lifting, is posing threat to the nearby roads, Tungrapara bridge and homesteads

A gang of influential people have been taking sand illegally from the Dosani River, a tributary of the Brahmaputra, in Morakandi Tungrapara village of Islampur upazila, Jamalpur. 

Locals said a vacuum in the riverbed, caused by the sand lifting, is posing a threat to nearby roads, the Tungrapara bridge, and homesteads.

Also, due to the illegal sand lifting, a vast tract of cropland, and various establishments including schools and mosques are on the brink of collapse, they added.

According to sources, Shahijal and Abul Lus, both residents of Tungrapara village, are engaged in this illegal sand theft. They are lifting sand from the river using dredging machines and are selling it in the open market in full view of local administration.

The unscrupulous sand lifters are managing any potential administration objections with bribes of Tk 1,000 to 1,200 per Cubic Feet (CFT) of sand removed from the river and sold.

Sand lifters pile up sand in order to sell Dhaka Tribune 

Villagers said they have been complaining about the illegal activity for a long time now . However, as the sand lifters are locally influential, they threaten locals with implicating them in false cases.

A group of residents from Tungrapara  village - Delu Miah, Mossaraf Hossain, Aynal Haque and Idris Ali- said that when they tried to protest the illegal sand lifting,  the sand lifters used the police to harass them.

Local administration sometimes conducts drives in the area. But when they leave, the sand theft continues. The drives are nothing but an eyewash, they added. 

This correspondent tried to contact  the two alleged sand lifters Shahijal and Abul Lus over the phone regarding the allegations, but they did not answer their phones. 

Speaking on the matter, Islampur upazila Assistant Commissioner (land) Suraiya Akhtar Laki said: " We conducted a drive a few days back and destroyed dredging machines. We will soon carry out drives again to stop the illegal sand lifting."

"And nobody has complained about the sand lifters to us,” she added.

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