Many houses and establishments, especially a widely used bridge in the district town, stand threatened due to riverbank erosion caused by illegal sand lifting from the Kaliganga River.
During a recent visit to Beutha Bridge area, this UNB correspondent found that illegal sand lifting was going on relentlessly under the nose of the local administration, endangering the adjacent locality.
A huge water body was created along the Beutha Bridge following the illegal sand lifting as well as many houses, business establishments and a number of trees in Andharmanik, Joynagar and Nayakandi villages under the municipality area collapsed in recent times, according to locals.
Now the Beutha Bridge faces the risk of being eroded into the river due to the unabated sand lifting, they added.
Meanwhile, the villagers have placed bamboo sticks and logs on the river banks to check further erosion and urged the authorities concerned to take immediate measures to stop all the dredging activities in the area.
While talking to UNB, villagers said 10-12 houses of Hindupara at Andharmanik village have already got inundated and the whole area may go into the river if it is not protected immediately.
A resident of the area, wishing anonymity, said local influential people are behind the illegal sand lifting.
Badal Chandra Biswas, a resident of Hindupara, told UNB, “16 decimals of land of mine have already gone into gorge of the river following the sand lifting, and only my dwelling house is still left unaffected though it stands threatened.”
Some locals, including Jatin Biswas, Rupchan Biswas, Kiron Chandra Saha, Rajendra Biswas, said they are passing a horrific time in a fear of losing their houses as they have already lost most of their croplands.
They fear that they will lose everything if the authorities concerned do not take effective measures immediately.
Manikganj Municipality Mayor Gazi Kamrul Huda Selim said the local administration did not take any initiative yet for unknown reasons though they were informed repeatedly.
Contacted, Deputy Commissioner of the district SM Ferdous said, “Action will be taken against sand lifters if it’s found that the riverbank erosion is taking place because of that.”
He said the local UNO and officer-in-charge of Sadar Police Station have already been informed about it.