Illegal sand lifting from the Mukteshwari River in Manirampur upazila in Jashore is going on unabated, putting a bridge and a cremation ground at Hajirhat in the upazila under threat of collapse.
Local people alleged that workers of a contractor firm involved in the renovation work of a road are extracting sand from the Mukteshwari River using machines defying the relevant law.
As per the Sand Quarry and Soil Management Act 2010, sand lifting within a kilometer of bridges, culverts, dams, barrages, embankments, highways, rail tracks, residential areas and other important structures is prohibited.
Mukteshwari River is flowing near the north side of Hajirhat Bazar in the upazila and the Hajirhat cremation ground is 100 feet off the Hajirhat Bridge over the river.
The renovation work of a two kilometer road in Hajirhat bazar area is going on involving Tk 1.17 crore.
Representational image.File Photo
A contractor firm named M/s Jakaullah & Brothers got the task of the renovation work and now the workers are filling up the potholes of the road with the sand of the river.
During a recent visit to the river, this correspondent saw a floating deck (made by log and plastic drums) is made for placing a diesel-run motor for lifting sand. A pipe is placed beneath the river for collecting sand and another machine is being used for transporting the sand to the road, 300 feet off the river. Four to five workers are doing the job.
Local people feared that due to the illegal sand lifting Hajirhat cremation ground may collapse into the river anytime.
Contacted, Mohamamd Jakaullah, owner of M/s Jakaullah & Brothers, said, “A contractor firm is doing the renovation work using my license but lifting sand from river is illegal.”
Manirampur Upazila Nirbahi Officer Mohammad Ahsanullah Sharifi said, “I have heard that someone is lifting sand from the river illegally and I have asked the Upazila Assistant Commissioner (Land) to stop the lifting sand.”