Illegal Sand Lifting

Jadukata river in death throes

Our Correspondent

4 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

SUNAMGANJ: A transboundary river shared by India and Bangladesh, Jadukata is known for its natural beauty.

Gushing out of the Khasi hills in the Indian state of Meghalaya, the river flows through Tahirpur upazila—an area that largely caters to Bangladesh’s increasing demand for construction sand and stones.

But rampant illegal sand and stone mining poses a grave threat to the river’s existence. Moreover, abundant lenience of authorities, residents allege, encourages the local mafia to steal the illegally mined sand and stones often seized by police. Neither the local administration nor the police pay attention to it. Local people too just do not bother to object to these illegal activities.

“The unauthorised mining activities not only lead to revenue loss to the government but also cause damage to the environment. This has going on for years,” some local residents told the correspondent.

Tahirpur Upazila Nirbahi Officer said, “We have sold a portion of the seized sand and stones at an auction. Also the absconders will soon be brought to book.”

When contacted, Sunamganj Deputy Commissioner Md Jahangir Hossain said, “We were forced to delay the second auction due to the ongoing lockdown. Once it’s lifted, we will follow the due process.”