DCs asked to stop illegal sand lifting from rivers27 January 2023
Staff Reporter :
The Deputy Commissioners (DCs) are asked to remain vigilant to stop illegal sand extraction from rivers and no departments can be constructed bridges in the rivers without the approval of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA).
Sate Minister for Water Resources Ministry Zaheed Farooque and State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury directed the DCs in separate sessions on Thursday.
Both the ministers briefed journalists after the Deputy Commissioners' Conference 2023 at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the city.
"The dams which are built on the rivers collapse due to the illegal sand extraction. Sand can be extracted only from those places which the Water Development Board declares as 'Balu Mahals' as sand is needed for the development of the country. In this way we will be able to meet the need for sand as well as prevent river erosion," Zaheed Farooque said.
Due to climate change, river erosion and flood has increased in Bangladesh, said the State Minister.
According to him, "Last year we saw early flooding in rural areas. Even then we didn't let the crops get damaged. I have taken precautions."
Stating that a few DCs spoke about the problem of river erosion in their areas, he said, "We are working, but the pace is slow due to the global recession."
"When a problem is raised from an area, we take action after conducting a survey," he said urging the engineers to talk to local public representatives and solve their problems.
On the other hand State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury said that rivers are the lifeline of Bangladesh and no bridge can be constructed in the rivers without the prior approval of BIWTA.
He also directed the DCs to play an effective role in this regard.
"Various types of ships ply in our rivers. The bridges should be built keeping in mind that what kind of ships plying in which rivers and ship owners need clearance from BIWTA. Considering the reality and necessity, the DCs must supervise the matter strictly so that no one from Roads, LGED and Bridges Division can construct any bridge in the rivers without BIWTA's approval," Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury said.