Farmers suffer as 1,200 hectares of land remain fallow

The local authorities took no measures to facilitate the poor small farmers to cultivate their own lands even in months as they cannot remove the sand from their croplands.

About 1,200 hectares of cropland in frontier Tahirpur upazila of Sunamganj turned uncultivable as these went covered with two to three-foot thick sands and pebbles rolled down with waters from Meghalaya hills months ago.

No crop can be cultivated on the sandy lands, where chemical effluents are accumulated too, said septuagenarian Andrew Sholemar, a Christian adivasi of village Chandpur. The entire area near the haor has been covered with at least three feet thick sand, he added.

Water Development Board (WDB) Acting Chief Engineer, Sylhet circle, ASM Shahidul Islam, said, “We got the reports on the croplands damaged by rolling sands with gushing waters from the bordering hills. Local officials are assessing the damage”. However, they couldn’t take any step yet, he admitted.

A number of locals like Abdul Mannan said the authority should take measures immediately. We are almost undone to make the croplands cultivable, he said.

He also said his family had lost over 10 acres of paddy land in the adjacent haor area.

An official of the DAE said, “We are aware of the local farmers’ suffering. But, we have nothing to do, he said, adding high officials had visited the area. Some officials of the district administration and the WDB had been looking into the issue”.

Meanwhile, the local inhabitants have been asked not to sell out the rolling stones or sand. A decision would soon be taken to sell out those through tender.

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