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Illegal sand lifting threatens Kushiyara dyke

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Sylhet Bureau :
Illegal sand lifting from the River Kushiyara at Angura Mohammed area under Beanibazar in Sylhet district  continues unabated, causing landslides in the area adjacent to the river.
Allegations are that local leader of the ruling party Harun Rashid Dipu and his brother nipu in collusion with some locals are  behind the unscrupulous practice.
The unplanned earth and sand lifting by using dragger Causes the river dyke to collapse at the village in many points. However, the authorities concerned remain silent even after repeated written complaint lodged with them by local people. Several cracks have been developed in the village, making the river dyke vulnerable. In many areas, farmlands, grave yards, mosque, bridge approach and some portion of the river dyke have already gone under to the river bed.
Earlier, local people formed a human chain and held press conference seeking help from the prime minister to stop the illegal earth and sand lifting and thus protect the river dykes from river erosion. During the visit to the area, this correspondent found that huge chunks of farmland along with a portion of mosque, a bridge approach and river dykes had already gone into the river.
Villagers said some local people had also been lifting earth and sand near the river dyke with the help of local administration. Victims said earth and sand lifting from the river in the village  has been an  open secret for a long time .
 They also faced false cases as they raised their voce against the illegal sand lifters earlier.
Guidebooks sale goes on unabated: Sale of illegal guidebooks and notebooks continue unbridled in the Sylhet city and district in the name of exercise or suggestion books. Illegal guidebook business continues due to lax monitoring by law enforcers and National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB), market insiders said.
During a visit to Kudrothullah Market and Zinda Bazar book markets in the City, this correspondent found that illegal guidebooks of different publishers were selling in different names.
Guidebooks published by Panjeree, Lecture, Anupam, Nabadut, Janani, Popy and Jupiter for second to eighth graders are selling at different bookstores in the city. Guidebooks for the 9th and 10th grade are also available in the market from publishers like Panjeree, Lecture, Anupam, Royal, Adil, Computer, Jupiter and Classic (for English version).
The guidebooks are  selling in different names like Test Paper, Auxiliary Books and Made Easy.
In addition to the class-based guidebooks, various guidebooks for Degree, Honors and Master's classes are also selling in the market.
According to the Notebook Prohibition Act-1980, no notebooks or such type of books for the students of Class-II to Class-VIII can be printed and marketed.
In 2008, notebook and guidebooks were banned by an executive order while Supreme Court on December 9, 2009 upheld a High Court verdict that banned publication of both guidebooks and notebooks.
But defying the bans, illegal guidebooks are being printed and marketed cashing in on their high demand among the students. NCTB conducts drives against illegal guidebooks and notebooks on an irregular basis but no tangible action has been taken against the publishers.
Educationists of Sylhet say students at the primary and secondary levels use guidebooks as they cannot depend on 'low-quality' textbooks for scoring good results in the examinations.
The quality of textbooks must be improved to reduce students' dependence on guidebooks otherwise, the creative education method introduced by the government will prove dysfunctional, they said. A bookshop owner in Kudrathullah market, said, "It does not seem that there is a ban as every bookstall is selling guidebooks." When asked whether they faced any problem in selling illegal guidebooks, he said, "The authorities conduct drive but it does not affect our sale."
ACC recently submitted 39 recommendations to the education ministry to curb corruption from the sector.
The recommendations include the formation of Education Monitoring Committees at the city, district and upazila level to ensure proper classroom teaching to reduce dependence on guidebooks.
The anti-graft body also suggested for conducting mobile court drives against all the note and guidebook publishing companies from the first week of December every year.
Mahbubul Alam Milon, owner of Bondu Library claimed, "Most of the teachers cannot understand creative education method. In this situation, our books are greatly helping the students across the country".
"Textbooks published by NCTB contain lots of errors and the quality of our books is far better," he claimed.

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