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River grabbing threatens Faridpur town embankment, daily life

Posted on February 13, 2023

A growing incidence of illegal dredging activities in the Padma river is threatening to damage the Faridpur town protection dam.

Meanwhile, previously excavated sands stored in the river banks continue to be transported across the town, causing congestion even at night.

Furthermore, soil excavation on private lands in the banks is going on defying government regulations.

Locals point fingers at Decreerchar Union Parishad Chairman Mehedi Hasan Mintu, his cousin and chief of the ruling party’s union unit, as well as a local BNP leader.

Mintu, however, denied the allegations claiming his name was wrongfully highlighted “repeatedly by some people.”

He also said he had information about soil excavation on private leased land.

Locals also allege that for the past three to four months illegal dredging of the Padma river has dramatically increased, going up to 40 feet deep in the river bank.

The dredging on private lands starts soon after the evening, likely to avoid suspicion, and continues till dawn.

Faridpur district commissioner Md Quamrul Ahsan Talukder told The Business Standard that steps will be taken against whoever is behind the sand and soil extraction activities in the Padma river banks.

The district authorities will soon introduce modern technologies at the river banks to monitor dredging activities and take prompt action, he added.

Environmental activists claim the encroachers could cause  major damage to the town protection embankment, which already suffers from cracks leading to floods every year.

On top of the threats posed to the river and the dam, the town is seeing hundreds of trucks line the key roads every evening, making commuting difficult.

Businessman Habib said only three to four months ago he did not face such intense road traffic as he does nowadays. The sand-laden trucks also cause air pollution, he said.

Moniruzzaman Monir, a member of Poribesh Unnayan Forum, an environmental rights group, said daytime is known as traffic-jam prone, but presently the congestion is more at night when the trucks descend on the roads.


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