People in Daulatpur upazila blame illegal sand lifting from the river

Thousands face wrath of Kaliganga river

Shining BD Desk || Shining BD

Published: 10/3/2022 8:55:15 AM
Illegal sand lifting from the Kaliganga river adds to the problem of river erosion at different villages in Manikganj’s Daulatpur upazila. Photo: Star

Illegal sand lifting from the Kaliganga river adds to the problem of river erosion at different villages in Manikganj’s Daulatpur upazila. Photo: Star

About 1,500 families of eight villages in Daulatpur upazila have lost their homesteads, fruit orchards and vast croplands due to erosion by the Kaliganga river in the last few years.

Indiscriminate lifting of sand from the river over the last five or six years has caused the erosion, locals alleged.

Moreover, hundreds of houses and vast croplands are at risk of being eroded by the river in future.

Influential quarters have been lifting sands setting dredger machines in the river resulting into the erosion of the river bank, they claimed.

The Kaliganga river flows through Manikganj district town to Jabra of Ghior upazila and falls into the Jamuna river at Charkatari of Daulatpur upazila.

The total length of the river from the district town to the mouth of the Jamuna is about 20 kilometres.

During a recent visit to the area this correspondent saw some local influential have set up dredger machines in six-kilometre area of the river, stretching from Khalshi, Chakmirpur and Jionpur of Daulatpur, and extracting sand illegally.

The syndicates have been lifting sands, using dredges, from at least 50 spots at different villages in the upazila.

A number of residents of the erosion-hit villages said illegal sand extraction from the river has been continuing unabated for the last five to six years.

An influential quarter with the help of local administration are doing the illegal business, they alleged.

As a result, the entire Bhanga Ramchandrapur and Abudanga villages and half of Parmastul, Ramchandrapur, Charmastul, Lautara, Jainta Pangtirchha and Bishnupur village have already gone into the river in the last few years, villagers said, adding that at least 1,500 families of those villages have become homeless.

Sakhawat Jahangir Sena, former chairman of Khalshi Union Parishad (UP), said during his tenure from March, 2016 to January, 2022, he tried his best but could not stop the illegal act.

The family of UP member Atikur Rahman, who lost all his four tin-shed rooms and a poultry farm last year, is now living somewhere else, he said.

Chakmirpur UP Chairman Shafiqul Islam said about half of Ramchandrapur and Charmastul village have gone into the river due to river erosion caused by the illegal sand extraction.

If the illegal soil extraction using dredgers is not stopped, more houses and croplands will go into the river soon, he said.  Daulatpur Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Mohammad Imrul Hasan said they often conducts drives and gives punishments, realise fines or even burn the illegal dredgers, but the perpetrators get back on the business again.


Shining BD