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Illegal sand extraction from Atrai river devouring cropland

Posted on August 30, 2023

A huge cropland and a large number of houses are being devoured in the river Atrai due to illegal excavation of sand using dredger (excavator) machines from the bottom of the river under Chandash union of Mohadevpur upazila of Naogaon district.

As a result of erosion and crack on the walls of the houses, people living in the village are spending their days under utter anxiety and panic. The ‘Sand Pirates’ are dragging the people living beside the river under deep uncertainty while the Sand Dunes and Soil Management committee members of the area remained a silent spectator. It is alleged, by managing the local administration and the SDSM, sand excavators are continuing their illegal activities unabated.

According to sub-section-5 of section-5 of the rule of SDSM-2015, it is completely banned to excavate underground soil by using pump, dredging machine or any other ways within a kilometre of any habitation, industry or cropland.

But, by violating the rule, sand is being excavated from deep underground of the river from beside the cropland and houses.

Meanwhile, on August-24, several hundred people of Chandash union organised a human chain in front of local Union Parishad around 11-00 am on August-24 demanding compensation for destroying houses, crop land and immediate stoppage of sand excavation from the river. Union Parishad Chairman Mahmudun Nabi presided over the human chain programme. After the end of human chain, they submitted a written complaint to the Upazila Nirbahi Officer of Mohadev­pur, Deputy Commissioner of Naogaon, Officer-in-Charge of Mohadevpur PS and various government offices demanding immediate stoppage of the illegal sand excavation.

Farmer Abdur Razzak Mollah,65, of Tongkasihbpur village of Chandash union had lost several bighas of his crop land in the river Atrai due to illegal excavation of sand from the river Atrai by using dredging machine. Even after visiting door to door of the local administration and police for years seeking stoppage of sand excavation, he did not get any result. At last, failing the bear the shock of losing his land, he died in a massive stroke. Like Abdur Razzak , crop land and houses of many farmers of the village have been devoured by the erosion of the river. Speakers in the human chain said, Moazzem Hossain, proprietor of Happy Traders, has been excavating sand from the river by using excavators from last January.

As a result, the riverside is being eroded devouring cropland and houses. They demanded to stop illegal excavation of sand immediately and to take legal action involved with the illegal sand excavation.

Abu Hasan, Upazila Nirbahi Officer of Mohadevpur informed, legal action will be taken against illegal sand excavator soon.


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