Agricultural land decreasing at alarming rate in Cumilla
Zakir Azad, Cumilla
The 'heart' of agriculture is being cut in brick kilns, 400 hectares of arable land has decreased in 3 years.
Cultivated land is being plowed freely across Cumilla . Land owners and farmers who are greedy for small profits have been involved in the disaster of selling land across the district.
In this, on the one hand, the cultivated land is gradually decreasing, on the other hand, the soil fertility is decreasing, leaving hundreds of hectares of agricultural land uncultivated.
Rural roads are damaged by soil transport.
People from all walks of life, including school-college students, are at serious health risk due to the inability to move in the dust of the dry season.
According to the sources of District Agriculture Office, Cumilla district had 1 lakh 95 thousand hectares of arable land. In the last three years, 400 hectares of arable land has decreased! The stakeholders blame cutting of top soil of crop land as the main reason.
On the surface, various upazilas including Sadar Upazila, Chandina, Devidwar, Burichong, Lalmai, Barura, Chauddagram, Muradnagar were visited and it was seen that most of the cultivated land was cut and that soil was supplying the local brick kilns.
Again, the work of dredging is going on to build a house or business with the soil of the cropland.
Some places are closed for a few days due to the 2/4 raids of the local administration, and some places, when the fleet of vehicles of the administration is gone, the people of the soil kheko class return to their old image.
Again, the administration officials themselves have to fall under the wrath of the locals.
On January 15 (Sunday) around 12:15 PM, land robbers hacked and injured three officials and employees of the land office for blocking the illegal dredger machine in the Ghazimura Dakshinpara field of Laksam Municipality.
It is learnt that there are about 25 brick kilns in 17 upazilas of Cumilla district. From the beginning of Kartik month of Bengali calendar to Chaitra month, the brick kiln owners have been carrying out the work of transporting soil and making bricks for about 6 months.
The agricultural land of the district and the vast expanses of the unprotected 'Gomti' river
provide soil for those brick kilns throughout the year.
Trolley logic illegal tractors and drum trucks are being used to supply soil to brick kilns throughout the season. And the roads damaged by the wheels of heavy vehicles are like sand.
Fahmida Akhtar, a schoolgirl from Panipara area of Chandina Upazila in Cumilla , said that there are several brick kilns in our village. Every day from dawn till night there are mud carts.
You can't even see the slippery road in different places with clay paved roads. And you can step on the dust of the dirt roads. One day the dress from school is getting dirty and even the dust is entering inside the mask or niqab. We want to get rid of such a situation.
Recently, several illegal dredgers have been seized in Mokam Union of Burichong Upazila on the initiative of the local chairman. The Chairman's bold actions are showered with praise from across the district.
Mokam Union Parishad Chairman of Burichong Upazila, Md. Saheb Ali, said that illegal dredger machines have been installed in various wards of Mokam Union's crop lands and reservoirs to excavate deep holes from agricultural land, resulting in extensive damage to crops and land.
Many farmers of the area have been making such complaints. I seized the dredger machine to save farmers and crops. In the larger interest of the farmers, I will avoid such operations in the area.
Former Director of Cumilla Medical College Hospital, Head of Forensic Medicine Department of Mainamati Medical College and Hospital. Mujib Rahman said, due to dust and various organisms infecting the lungs of the human body, people are suffering from various diseases starting from respiratory problems, heart disease and cancer. Most deaths in the world are caused by air pollution.
According to the World Health Organization, Bangladesh also has the highest death rate due to air pollution. Along with the administration, the local awareness community also needs to play a more active role in this air pollution. Deputy Director of Cumilla Agricultural Extension Directorate said.
Mizanur Rahman said that not only soil is taken by cutting the soil in the agricultural land. Cutting the heart of agriculture. It takes 20-50 years for the topsoil to return to its previous level of fertility.
There are many profit-seeking farmers who think that by selling the top 2/1 feet of soil they will get some money and the land will remain, those farmers do not understand the importance of the top soil of the land.
Again, there are some brokers who misunderstand the uneducated or poorly educated farmers and take advantage of their own interests.
We have also discussed in the district coordination meeting to stop cutting the top soil of the land.
We are drawing the attention of senior administration officials to control the matter.