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2:46 am | April 25, 2024
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ratarguls (bangladesh) swamp forests environment threaten by illegal sand extraction
Aivee Akther Environmental crime

Ratargul’s (Bangladesh) Swamp Forest’s environment threaten by illegal sand extraction

Ratargul’s (Bangladesh) Swamp Forest’s environment threaten by illegal sand extraction


Illegal sand extraction occurs in the Jalurmukh area of the Shari-Goyain River, close to the Ratargul Swamp Forest of the Goainghat Upazila of Sylhet. Unplanned sand mining has caused river erosion. As a result, Ratargul is now under threat.

The people of five nearby villages are at risk of losing their agricultural land and housing. However, the administration is silent about stopping the illegal activities that destroy nature and the environment.

Speakers made these complaints at a civic bonding program organized by Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA) , Sylhet Branch, and Surma River Waterkeeper in the Ratargul Kheyaghat area.

Abdul Karim Chowdhury, General Secretary of BAPA, Sylhet, said, “A gang of “Sandblaster” miscreants are extracting sand every night in the Jalurmukh area near Ratargul swamp forest. Ratargul is in the face of erosion due to the sand extraction of this circle that claims to be influential.”

As the local administration failed to suppress the miscreants in this situation, the environmentalists held this protest civic bond program.

Local people claimed in the program that an influential gang in the area is constantly extracting sand from the Jalurmukh river illegally. However, this area has not been declared Balumahal (sand extracting area), and the government has not given a lease.

Still, sand extracts illegally from the Jalurmukh area with dredger machines. Those who lift the sand in the dark of night understand that it is a crime. Therefore, they have to work like thieves.

It is the responsibility of the administration to suppress the thieves. If the administration fails to fulfill that responsibility, people may think the local administration is in touch with the ‘Sand eaters.’

Tahmilur Rahman, Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) of Goainghat, in response to the complaints of environmental activists, said, “The location of Chengerkhaal sand extraction area is just 500 meters before the forest department site.

There is strict supervision of the administration in this part. We are watching so no one can extract sand beyond the defined limit. When we get a complaint, we take action against it. Ratargul is our wealth. The local administration is working to protect it.”

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