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illegal operating of stone crushers damaging the surrounding environment
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Illegal operating of stone crushers damaging the surrounding environment at Sunamgonj, Bangladesh

Illegal operating of stone crushers damaging the surrounding environment at Sunamgonj, Bangladesh

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 Around 400 stone crushers are being operated illegally in different Upazilas of Sunamganj without approval. These stone crushers were installed near riverbanks, households, religious and educational institutions. Since their placement in almost everywhere, they are ultimately causing severe noise pollution along with the damaging environment and public health.



The respective concerns disclose this information during a discussion meeting at the conference room of the Deputy Commissioner’s Office at Sunamganj. The Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA) has organized the program under ‘Illegal Use of Stone Crusher Machine: What to Do to Prevent Public Health and Environmental Disaster.’

Shah Saheda Akhter, the Sylhet Divisional Coordinator of BELA, delivered the keynote address at the meeting chaired by Abu Sufian, President of the Central Committee of the Bachpan Bachao Andolan.’

According to the keynote speech, crusher machines break the stones and shape them for building infrastructure activities in Sunamganj.

The Illegal stone Traders installed all the machines alongside residences, educational institutions, and marketplaces in Sadar, Chhatak, Tahirpur (Laudergarh and Anwarpur area) Jamalganj Upazilas of Sunamganj district. Rivers named Surma, Chalti, Jadukata, Boulai and Rakti flows over the mentioned upazillas.



According to BELA, there are 26 stone crusher machines in Sadar Upazila, 100 in Chhatak Upazila, 6 in Tahirpur, and 24 in Jamalganj Upazila. In 2016, there were about 120 stone crushers. In 2019, it increased to 161, and currently, the quantity is 236.

However, the participants in the meeting claimed that 400 stone-breaking machines are currently operating illegally in the district. All this has no sanction or permission.

According to the observation of BELA, these machines are causing air, soil, water, and noise pollution in the area. Due to this, there is a negative impact on educational, socio-economic, and agricultural activities.

There is a policy to install stone crusher machines by obtaining approval and environmental clearance from the respective authority. However, the policy remains unfollowed in Sunamganj.

Although there is a committee to determine a suitable place, these committees have no activities. The people involved in the operation of these machines locally are influential in many ways, and thus the ordinary people cannot protest against this.



Shah Shaheda Akhtar, the coordinator of BELA, said, “BELA had filed a writ petition against the operation of the stone crusher machine installed and operated in five Upazilas of Sylhet in violation of the policy.

Because of this, the judgment of the honorable High Court, dated January 24, 2017, has called for the removal of illegal stone crusher machines, transfer of all legal stone crusher machines in one zone, and implementation of Stone Crusher Machine Installation Policy 2006. Necessary steps will adopt in this regard.”

Md. Jahangir Hossain, Deputy Commissioner of Sunamganj, informed, “The administration will take necessary steps to implement the policy.

There are at least 400 stone-breaking machines in the district. All of them will bring into a discipline. The solution will not come overnight. People’s livelihood is also intimately involved with this. Everyone has to be cautious so that the environment and people do not get harmed.”

Source: Climate Action (European Commission) and Google

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