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Sand extraction makes bridge vulnerable to collapse

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EAM Asaduzzaman, Nilphamari

Published: Sunday, May 19, 2013


A tractor is being loaded with sand lifted from Jamunneswary River, only a few metres away from Bahagli bailey bridge on Kishoreganj-Taraganj Road in Nilphamari district, to send to different destinations for sale. Photo: Star


A section of unscrupulous people have continued sand extraction from Jamuneswary River only a few metres away from the 180-metre-long Bahagli bailey bridge on Kishoreganj-Taraganj road, making the bridge highly vulnerable.

Visiting the sight on May 7, this correspondent saw workers filling up power tiller-run vehicles and trolleys with sand from the riverbed.

The sand is sold for Tk 200 per each power tiller and Tk 150 per each trolley and sent to different destinations.

Local resident Narendranath Roy alias Jugol Sanyasi conducts the illegal business, daily selling sand loaded in 80-100 power tiller-run vehicles and trolleys, said locals and buyers.“I have been carrying sand from the riverbed for a few days. I buy the sand from Jugol Sanyasi for Tk 150 per trolley and sell it to interested people, mostly at construction sites or to those who want to fill up ditches,” said Akram Hossain, a trolley driver

“We use the road and the bridge regularly to go to Taraganj upazila and Kishoreganj headquarters, divisional city Rangpur and important business centre Saidpur. But Jugol Sanyasi’s callous act is causing harm to the bridge. Our miseries will know no bound if the bridge is damaged,” said Bachhu Babu, an inhabitant of the area.

Vacuum in the riverbed caused by sand extraction poses threat to the bailey bridge that serves as link between a few upazilas as well as the divisional city of Rangpur, said AKM Shawnul Haque, vice chairman of Kishoreganj upazila parishad.

On contact, Jugol Sanyasi said, “Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) in Saidpur Division gave me responsibility to look after the river and the bridge as well. The riverbed is being filled up, so I allowed extraction of sand from there.”

Mohammad Abdus Shahid, executive engineer of BWDB in Saidpur Division, said, “My office has not engaged anyone to take care of the river near Bahagli Bridge. I will investigate the matter as I have got complaint from you.”

Mohammad Golam Azam, upazila nirbahi officer of Kishoreganj, said, “I have visited the site and found that a person claiming as the caretaker of the river area was responsible for extracting sand from the riverbed. I will talk to the BWDB authorities regarding the matter as the site is under their jurisdiction.”












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