The government is losing out on revenue because of the illegal activity
Miners are continuing to illegally extract sand from the Meghna river—adjacent to Chandpur Sadar and Haimchar upazila—despite the authorities and locals concerned having made multiple efforts to end this practice.
Addressing the proceedings, the High Court has ordered the authorities concerned to stop, and prevent, illegal sand extraction from the Meghna river, in that area.
It has issued a ruling asking why the illegal sand mining should not be declared illegal and why the people involved, and responsible, for such activities should not be brought under the law and punished accordingly.
Responding to a writ application submitted by Mahmudul Hasan—on behalf of the residents of Khalishpur village on January 29—the High Court bench of Justice Sheikh Hasan Arif and Justice Rajik Al Jalil passed this order on February 2.
The culprits involved in such activities are stealing crores of taka and the government is being deprived of the revenue; and are still to be brought to justice by the authority.
Even prior initiatives taken by the local Awami League leaders and MPs have gone in vain as they have not stopped the people involved from illegally extracting sand from the Meghna river.
The copy of the High Court order and the writ petition mentioned: Chandpur Sadar, Haimchar Rajarajeshwar, Nilarachar, Ibrahimpur, Jafarabad, Safarmali, Manoharkhadi, Charazhir Uddin, Charpakash, Charolgimara, Morarchar, Charjahajamara, Chaltatli, Gunanandi, Induli, Sakhua, Gorapia, Ichli, Dakkhin Peyarchar, and Mirzapur as the areas where dredging companies are illegally mining sand.
Messers Selim Enterprise, Brishty Enterprise Three Star Dredging, Titu Hasan Dredging, Hasan-Hossain Dredging, Noyanagar Dredging, Shahparan Dredging, and Inshallah Dredging—led by Selim Khan, Borhan Khan, Ehar Khalasi, Monir Bhuiyan and Danesh Chairman—are extracting sand without the permission of the authority, on a regular basis, and making hundreds of thousands of taka, illegally, every year.
As a result of this illegal sand extraction, various areas of Chandpur Sahar Rokhha Badh, Puran Bazar, and Hymarch upazila have been facing the threat of erosion.
Thus, the High Court responded to the petition (No. 995/2019)—submitted by Mohammad Mahmudul Hasan of Chandpur district—and directed: Chandpur deputy commissioner, Chandpur police super, Chandpur Sadar and Haimchar executive officer, Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Sadar and Haimchar police station, Chandpur Naval OC, BIWTA deputy director of Chandpur, and the station commander of Chandpur Coastguard to stop illegal sand mining and take necessary steps against those responsible for it.
The writ petition applicant Hasan Mahmud said: "Due to the illegal sand extraction the city embankment might collapse.
"For many years I have been contacting the government officials concerned for a solution to this. However, they did not offer a substantial solution to this problem."
"Upon the request of the locals, I filed a writ petition to the court. Hopefully now the authorities concerned will take the necessary steps to stop, and prevent, illegal sand extraction; this would be great for the environment and for the people living here, near the Meghna river," he added.
Addressing the proceedings Haimchar upazila Executive Officer Samar Kanti Basak said: "We are aware of this. I am yet to receive the High Court's copy of the ruling.
"Necessary steps will be taken, complying with the court's order."
Chandpur Sadar upazila Executive Officer Kaniz Fatema could not be reached for comment.
Chandpur Additional District Magistrate Mohammad Abdulah Al Mahmud Zaman said: "We have received orders to stop illegal sand extraction from north of Matlab. We are taking the necessary steps.
"However, we are to yet receive the High Court order regarding the illegal sand mining from the areas of Sadar-Haimchar Meghna river. We will definitely take action according to the court's order."
Adding to this, Chandpur District Commissioner Majedur Rahman Khan said: "We have taken multiple steps, complying with the court's directives, to stop and prevent illegal sand mining.
"We are also conducting regular drives to catch the culprits responsible for these activities. Necessary steps will be taken upon further investigation."