It's on us. Share your news here.

AL leader blamed for lifting sand from Jamuna

Sand being extracted illegally using an excavator on the shoals of Jamuna in Arjuna union of Tangail’s Bhuanpur upazila. Locals say a group of influential people is lifting sand at nine more points in the area.

Posted on March 20, 2024

Influentials with political support are extracting sand illegally from raised shoals of Jamuna river in Tangail’s Bhuanpur upazila, alleged locals.

Excavators were being used to extract sand indiscriminately, especially at night, from at least 10 points on the shoals in Jagatpura, Kuthiboyra, Dakshin Jagatpura and Nalin areas under Arjuna union of the upazila, by coercing the local administration, alleged locals.

Sand is also being lifted from a shoal adjacent to a dam of Bangladesh Water Development Board stretching from Nalin to Kuthiboyra area. After extraction, the sand is carried to a part of the embankment using trucks, by cutting a part of the embankment.

In some places, the sand traders are also extracting sand and soil from cultivable lands by paying a nominal amount to the land owners.

Hundreds of truckloads of sand are being sold every day.

Locals fear the unabated illegal sand lifting will eventually worsen Jamuna river’s erosion in the monsoon.

According to the Sand Quarry and Soil Management Act-2010, no underground sand or soil can be lifted by pumping or dredging or any other means. Sand mining is prohibited near bridges, culverts, dams, barrages, embankments, roads, highways, forests, railway lines and other important public and private structures or within a minimum of one kilometre from residential areas.

Violations of the laws are punishable with imprisonment or fine or both, while dredgers, trucks and other related materials used in the offence are supposed to be seized by the authorities concerned.

“Every year, these sand lifters extract sand from the shoals. If someone does not want to give their land then they would forcibly extract sand from his land,” alleged Manzur Ashraf of Jagatpura village.

“Later, during monsoon, severe erosion occurs in these areas. However, the authorities seem to have turned a blind eye to this menace,” he added.

Mofazzal Hossain Sarkar of Arjuna area said, “Due to the indiscriminate sand lifting, Bhuanpur-Tarakandi dam is under threat. Some local Awami League leaders are managing the authorities concerned to carry on this sand trade worth crores of taka.”

Sanwar Hossain of Jagatpura village echoed them.

Allegedly, Taherul Islam Tota, upazila AL unit general secretary, is running this sand trade.

Contacted, Tota, however, denied the allegation.

“I am not involved in sand extraction anymore. Those who are pointing finger at me are the ones lifting sand,” he claimed.

Didarul Alam Khan Mahbub, chairman of Arjuna union parishad, said, “As the embankment is at risk due to illegal sand lifting, the areas are in risk of erosion during monsoon. I have raised the matter in the upazila parishad’s monthly meeting, but no steps have yet been made.”

Sajjad Hossain, executive engineer of BWDB in Tangail, said, “If complaint regarding illegal sand extraction from Jamuna is received, the district and upazila administration as well as the police administration will take action.”

Jahidur Rahman, UNO of Bhuanpur, said, “Mobile courts are conducted regularly to stop illegal sand extraction. However, nothing was found during the drives, as the culprits operate at night.”


It's on us. Share your news here.
Submit Your News Today

Join Our
Click to Subscribe