Illegal sand lifting from the Bangsai and Jhenai rivers in Basail upazila of Tangail district has posed erosion threat to huge agricultural land and establishments.
During a recent visit, this correspondent spotted illegal sand lifting activity in Dunglibari Bazar, Sunna Dakkhinpara, Sunna Ghonabari, Sunna Purbopara, Ishwarganj Bazar, Naikanibari Bazar along the Bangsai riverbank; Habla Beelpara Bazar, Kanchanpur Kazirapara Bridge and Kanthaltali areas along the Jhenai riverbank.
Some influential quarters in those areas have long been using dredger machines to lift sand from the riverbed, weakening the riverbanks.
Locals fear huge stretch of agricultural land as well as many establishments are at risk of river erosion because of the illegal sand lifting.
“Even in the past, many had lost their lands to river erosion for the same reason. If sand lifting continues like this, other peoples’ lands will be lost to the river,” said a farmer of Kanchanpur village, preferring not to be named.
Officials concerned of Habla, Kanchanpur and Kauljani Union Parishads have already been informed about the matter. But the inaction of the officials have made the sand miners more desperate, alleged the locals.
The sand traders suspend their activity during the mobile court drives, only to resume it after some days, they added.
Basail Upazila Nirbahi Officer Sayma Akhter said she had already asked the assistant commissioner (land) to take quick action against illegal sand lifting from the two rivers.