Gumani River being occupied by land goons
Published: 12:28 PM, 10 May 2021 Updated: 12:48 PM, 10 May 2021
Traditional Gumani River of Chalan Beel area at Bhangura Upazila is being occupied
There is no denying to say that rivers play an invaluable role in maintaining the balance of the socio-economic and natural environment in agriculture-based Bangladesh. The present government has been playing an important role in the protection of the inland rivers of the country by evicting the illegal occupation or renovating the rivers. But the traditional Gumani River of Chalan Beel area at Bhangura Upazila is being occupied.
Such an image of the occupation of Gumani River in Hariharpur area near Ashtamanisha UP of the upazila by the influential circles where they are constructing multi-storied buildings and paved structures on the river, once known as the river port, has been seen.
The locals are not daring to open their mouths as the river occupants are influential and rich. Officials of the local land office and water development board are also silent on the issue for “mysterious reasons”. Due to their silent role, government property is being evicted.
However, several owners of the buildings built by occupying the river said they would “demolish the buildings” built along the river if the government wants.
Visiting the banks of the Haripur Gumani River near the Ashtamanisha Bazar of the upazila shows that two companies named ‘Deep Rice Mill’ and ‘Bangshi Maharaj Agro Limited’ have occupied the Gumani River and built several large buildings. As a result, the traditional Gumani River in the Chalan Beel area is being encroached upon and its natural beauty is under threat.
Several members of the River Protection Movement think if the Gumani river is to be occupied in this way, it will hamper the rapid drainage of water from thousands of hectares of cropland in the Chalan Beel area during the monsoon season.
Swapan Sarkar Mukti, an owner of Deep Rice Mill, said 8-10 feet of the river had been filled with sand but the filled area was part of his “own land”. However, he also said that he was willing to demolish the building if the government wants.
Partha Pratim Saha, owner of Banshi Maharaj Agro Limited, on the other hand, commented that he was not interested in talking to reporters about the matter.
“No one has the authority to occupy a river,” said SM Mizanur Rahman, member secretary of the Baral Raksha Andolan Committee, demanding immediate action against those involved in the river occupation.
Syed Ashrafuzzaman, president of the Upazila River Protection Committee and Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO), said the matter would be investigated and legal action would be taken soon.