Sand mining in river

Take action against unauthorised sand lifters

Published : 04 Apr 2022 09:02 PM

Unabated illegal sand extraction from the riverbeds and banks is posing serious erosion threat to vast tracks of cropland, adjacent villages, houses and different establishments along the rivers in the country. Unplanned sand extraction in some strategic points of some important rivers has also reduced the production of hilsa and other fishes. 

The high command of the government several times ordered suspension of sand lifting and asked four ministries to prepare a policy guideline in this regard. The authorities also issued warning against sand extraction but political interference is always patronising the organised local influential and hoodlums to do the crime. Local influential people and hoodlums in their respective areas are running rampant sand mining business right under the noses of the administration. 

On March 30, National River Conservation Commission has (NRCC) ordered to seize the vessels involved in illegal sand extraction in the Padma-Meghna Rivers in Chandpur to protect hilsa and the biodiversity of the rivers and prevent erosion. NRCC Chairman Manzur Ahmed Chowdhury also ordered to arrest those who are involved in such wrongdoings; saying from Shutnol in Matlab North to Char Alexander of Chandpur is the largest sanctuary of Hilsa. 

A hydrographic survey should 

be carried out immediately 

to resolve the complications 

in leasing out sand estates

Most of the sand traders use mechanised dredgers and dredge the river beds in an unplanned way. This aggravates erosion and causes flood in the rainy season. They are reported to dredge river beds even up to 100 metres or more. These holes obstruct the natural water flow during rainy season, causing rivers to realign their banks and threaten embankments, croplands and homesteads. This is not acceptable in any way and those who are involved in such illegal activities are the enemies of the nation. 

The way erosion is taking place, many habitats, crop lands and important establishments along the rivers may disappear anytime. Though the government has been spending crores to build embankments a quarter is extracting sand near the embankments posing threat to various establishments including the embankments.

The influential people have been extracting sand every day from the rivers and their banks through dredgers. Immediate steps should be taken to stop such crimes. Strict vigilance will also have to be ensured so that none can dare lift sand in this way. Simultaneously, a hydrographic survey should be carried out immediately to resolve the complications in leasing out sand estates.