The natural environment of Jaflong-Bishanakandi (Bangladesh) destroying for only leasing money of BDT.60 million a year
Syeda Rizwana Hasan, Chief Executive Officer of Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA), said, ‘The Jaflong -Bishanakandir rivers have been destroying for only leasing money of BDT 60.5 million per year.
From 2014 to 2019, the government earned BDT.38.5 million in revenue from the stone palaces of Sylhet. However, those who get the lease have earned more than this.”
She said this in a round table discussion on the dilapidated state of rivers and the environmental crisis due to sandstone extraction and encroachment pollution.
Syeda Rizwana said, “The River is sometimes declared as sand extracting places, sometimes as a stone place, and sometimes the government freely hands it over to industrial companies.
We cannot realize that the river is a lifeline. The government gets revenue of BDT.2350.56 million from the sand places. In the last 20 years, sand and stone have been extracted from the rivers and adjacent areas by underground drilling to 130-140 feet.
Because of those illegal activities, farmland and houses are disappearing into the river. Five thousand tons of crops have been produced less every year due to the destruction of agricultural land. There is no one to monitor the quantity of sand required to lift.
The Balu Mahal Act 2010 (Act of sand extracting) is in force but not compelling. Deputy Commissioners have formed committees to stop sand mining if it causes noise pollution, river erosion, and biodiversity destruction. However, that committee does not work properly. They do not pay any visits to the sites.”
Hailing the high court’s verdict to protect the river, the chief executive of BELA said that the government is responsible as the guardian of any river damages.
The High Court has asked for an action plan, but the government has not given the action plan on the pretext of Corona. However, Balu Mahal (Sand extracting rivers sections) continues to run.
About river pollution, Syeda Rizwana commented that the tanneries closed in Hazaribagh to save the Buriganga River are now polluting the Dhaleshwari River. On the other hand, the tanneries have not yet been completely sealed from Hazaribagh.