Sources said hundreds of houses, schools, mosques and markets were at risk due to dredging illegally from the river in Kalkini, Mostafapur, Raghurampur, Chilachar , Tekerhat, Shibpur and Rajoir in the district.
Several roads and different establishments including a vast area of croplands have already gone into the rivers. When the Dhaka Tribune correspondent visited he found a huge amount of lifting sand was piled up in front of DC office.
Requesting anonymity, an official the DC office said the people in the did not dare to bring allegation against the sand lifting as local influential persons were involved with it.
Flow of water in the river is changing courses, and locals are becoming subject to multifarious losses.
But, administration is deaf to the matter which has triggered the illegal practice, alleged locals.
Recently, panic gripped inhabitants of Raghurampur village under the upazila due to the large scale erosion. Locals informed that earlier a vested quarter lifted sand illegally from the river banks with ‘bangla dredger’.
According to TIB and Madaripur municipality office sources, in last seven years more than 500 ponds were filled up with the lifted sand from the Arial Kha River in Madaripur town.
Local sources said more than 5,000 ponds were filled up in rural areas under the district in recent years.
Thousands of people of Shibchar, Kalkini, Mohisherchar, Mostofapur, Chilarchar and Raghurampur areas use the important Madaripur-Shibchar Road regularly, but due to the erosion, some riverside houses and croplands have gone into river.
Aminur Mian of Chilarchar village said they had informed the incident to the local administration several times. But no steps were taken.
A teacher of Raghurampur School, seeking anonymity said: “One portion of the road has been damaged. Besides, some houses and croplands have also been destroyed.”
“The ruling party men are involved with the illegal dredging,” he said.
Sometimes the illegal sand lifters engaged in clash over establishing supremacy in sand query. In last five years at least 15 persons were killed over the issue, said local sources.
Ex VP of Govt Nazim Uddin College Masud Parvez said the administration had not taken any steps against the illegal sand lifting.
Deputy Commissioner Kamaluddin Biswas said: “We have already taken steps to stop illegal sand lifting. Mobile courts conducted drives in several areas and destroyed dredger machines.”
When contacted, Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan said: “Without the permission of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority, sand lifting from the river is illegal.”