Locals urged the administration to take immediate action against the sand mining, but any step is yet to be taken
Unabated illegal dredging and sand extraction from the Bangali River in Bogra’s Dhunot upazila is posing a severe erosion threat to a newly built model cluster village, and vast tracts of cropland.
Locals urged the administration to take immediate action against the sand mining, but any step is yet to be taken.
The Disaster Management and Relief Ministry has built 101 tin-shed houses for landless families from Elangi union on the bank of Bangali River, which runs beside the Rangamati village under the union.
Dubbed “Adarsha Guchhagram,” the cluster village is yet to be inaugurated by the government, and is already facing threat of erosion due to the ongoing illegal sand mining on the western end of Rangamati village, locally known as Rangamati Paschimpara.
According to locals, Abdur Rashid of neighbouring Khokshahata village is the one who has illegally set up dredgers on the river, and mining sand — making the riverbank unstable, and thus leading to erosion of cropland as well as putting the cluster village at risk.
Regarding the allegation, Rashid claimed he had taken permission from Elangi Union Parishad Chairman MA Tarek Helal.
However, Helal rejected his claim, saying: “Abdur Rashid did come to me, but I did not give him permission to do that. Moreover, I had forbidden him from doing that.”
Rashid also claimed that no dredging was going on near the cluster village, and added: “That village is not facing any threat.”
However, farmers Abu Sayeed, Afsar Ali, and Montu Mia of Rangamati village said the cropland on the bank of Bangali River have already started eroding due to extensive sand mining from the river.
More than 100 bighas of arable land, and the cluster village would surely be devoured by the river if this continues, they said, urging the authorities to take action as soon as possible.
Dhunot Upazila Nirbahi Officer Razia Sultana echoed their fear, and said: “We will carry out a drive in the area soon, and take legal steps against the sand miners.”