Atrai Bridge faces threat of collapse


The embankment of the Atrai river and the Kaugaon railway bridge are facing the threat of being collapsed due to excavation of sand from the bed of the river by using dredgers.

It is alleged, after taking a lease of the sand dunes of the river, a local sand trader was excavating sand from the bed of the river Atrai using dredgers without following any rules. 

Local people complained, due to indiscriminate excavation of sand from under the river bed through dredgers, the subterranean bed of the river might be collapsed. Moreover, the Kaugaon railway bridge might also be collapsed due to the excavation of sand from beside the bridge. 

Local people complained, several years ago, the blocks of river protection embankment collapsed inside the river. The leasee of the sand dune has made a way on across the embankment by cutting parts of the embankment for the movement of the dredger. As a result, many parts of the embankment have been broken and the road through the embankment has become unfit for movement of people. They further alleged, the leasee was excavating sand from only 100 meters away of the Kaugaon railway bridge. The bridge is under severe threat of being collapsed due to excavation of sand from such a low distance area, they opined. 

Altaf Hossain, Leaseholder of the sand dune of Atrai river informed, he has been excavating sand from the approved territory with permission from the Deputy Commissioner for the last four-year and selling the sand elsewhere by following the government rules and regulations.  However, he did not comment about the possible collapse of the bridge and the embankment for excavating sand through using dredgers from near those structures. 

Abu Saleh Mahfuzul Alam, Additional Deputy Commissioner (revenue) of Dinajpur informed, he was unaware of the incident of excavation of sand from Atrai river through using dredgers. However, he said, he would enquire into the incident and would take action against the leaseholder.