The Ashuganj Power Station Company Limited (APSCL) has been allegedly occupying the banks of the Meghna river and filling it up with sands, risking the change of the course of the river, local people and officials have said.
Besides, there will be a massive river erosion in the Ashuganj port area.
APSCL, however, claims that they are filling up their own spaces.
But Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) and Water Development Board officials said their officials have inspected the site. The inspection revealed that the area which is being filled up falls within the boundary of the river.
Nasir Mia from Sohagpur village of Ashuganj upazila in Brahmanbaria district lodged a complaint in writing about the occupation of the river banks on 19 January with the chairman of the National River Conservation Commission, secretary and deputy director of the Ashuganj-Bhairab river project. It urged the authorities concerned to take necessary steps to stop the ‘damage of the environment, the obstruction in the river flow and river erosion’.
Complainant Nasir Mia is a farmer and businessman. He has a business of rice and paddy in Ashuganj port. Besides, he is a member of the convening committee of the upazila Awami League.
He told Prothom Alo, “A canal flows towards the Sohagpur village from the north-western side of the sand-filled portion. Earlier, people used to go to the district through this canal. Now-a-days boats laden with rice and paddy from different districts of the country including Sylhet, Jamalpur, Mymensingh, Gopalganj and Barisal are anchored in the canal. However, after filling up the Meghna river, the thermal power plant authority has also taken over this canal. I will lodge another complaint.”