Monday, April 6, 2020 | ePaper

Sand lifting from Halda River causes concern

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Chattogram Bureau :
Illegal sand extraction continues unabated in the Halda River posing a serious threat to the ecosystem. The river is also Bangladesh's largest natural breeding ground for carps. As part of ongoing drives against unauthorized dredgers and mechanized boats Hathazari Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) conducted a drive at Indira Ghat and seized an unauthorized dredger for sand extraction from the river.
According to local analysts and spawn collectors, the use of sand-extracting dredgers and mechanized boats in the river is responsible for the death of a number of broodfish and dolphins in recent times. They say fish and dolphins are often injured and killed after being hit by the propeller of engine-run boats or sand-extracting dredgers.
Halda River is a river in south-eastern Bangladesh. It originates at the Badnatali Hill Ranges in Ramgarh Upazila in the Chattogram Hill Tracts, flows through Fatikchhari Upazila, Bhujpur Thana, Hathazari Upazila, Raozan Upazila and Chandgaon Thana of the Chattogram Metropolitan City, and falls into the Karnaphuli River.
The river is also Bangladesh's largest natural breeding ground for carps Despite ongoing drives against unauthorized dredgers and mechanized boats at the Halda River, illegal sand extraction continues unabated, posing a serious threat to the ecosystem.  
Earlier on November 26, another sand-lifting dredger was seized from the same spot of the river. According to local analysts and spawn collectors, the use of sand-extracting dredgers and mechanized boats in the river is responsible for the death of a number of broodfish and dolphins in recent times.
They say fish and dolphins are often injured and killed after being hit by the propeller of engine-run boats or sand-extracting dredgers.  Law enforcement officials seize a sand-lifting dredger from the Halda river in Chittagong.
Speaking to Hathazari UNO Ruhul Amin said that the authorities were conducting drives regularly to ensure a preservation of the aquatic ecosystem in the river. "Since my joining, I have conducted 87 mobile courts till February 10 of this year.
We have seized a total of 7 dredgers, 12 engine-run boats, and 1.05 lakh cubic feet of illegally lifted sand from the river. We have also taken punitive action against the offenders on multiple occasions. It is our bounden duty to conserve the river and ensure an undisturbed spawning environment," said the UNO.Prof Dr Manzoorul Kibria, professor and coordinator of Halda River Research Laboratory, hailed the Hathazari UNO for his untiring efforts in protecting the river. "The UNO has been putting his maximum effort but it is not possible for one person to keep a round-the-clock vigil on the Halda River. Locals along with the local public representatives and the beneficiaries of the river must come forward to protect the river." 

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