Occupancy Of Agricultural Land Fear Of Losing Livelihood Of Farmers

Leaving the soil will lose the fertility of the land. There may be some small compensation, but they will have to suffer long-term losses in crop production.

Banishanta is a union of Sundarbans in Dakop upazila of Khulna. The only source of income for the people of this union on the banks of Pashur river is agriculture. Their livelihood is now under threat. For the greater depth of the Mongla port channel, their arable land is being confiscated to dig up the Pashur river and dump soil and sand.

The locals complained that the land would lose its fertility if the port needed sand and soil for a long time. There may be some small compensation, but they will have to suffer long-term losses in crop production. Once you become a refugee, you have to leave your home.

Piyush Kanti Roy, a member of the Banishanta Agricultural Land Protection Committee , told Prothom Alo : We have taken refuge in the court to protect the land. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Visiting the area last Tuesday, it was seen that the same discussion was going on in the fields and tea shops. What will happen to the people of the area if they take possession of 300 acres of land and throw away the sand, how will their livelihood continue? Extensive discussions and plans are underway to prevent this.

According to the Khulna District Administration Office and local sources, the excavation project of Inner Bar of Mongla Port Channel was approved by ECNEC in January 2020. Under the project, about 216 lakh cubic meters of soil and sand is to be extracted from Pashur river. As there is not enough land in Mongla port, this soil, sand has to be dumped in various khas and privately owned lands of Dakop and Mongla upazila. Banishanta Union needs 300 acres of land outside 800 acres of Mongla for dumping soil and sand.

In view of this, in November 2020, a letter was sent to the chairman of the excavation project, Banishanta, to the chairman of the union council regarding the objection of land acquisition for dumping of soil. The UNO of Dakop referred to the land as agricultural land and sent a report on the overall issue. On February 3, the land acquisition officer on behalf of the deputy commissioner issued a notice of possession order and directed to transfer the possession of the land to the owners by February 28. However, the farmers protested without accepting the notice.

Khulna Additional Deputy Commissioner (LA) said. Maruful Alam told Prothom Alo that it is agricultural land, that’s right. But as there is no alternative system, the land has to be occupied. And since the port is an international issue and needs to be excavated. Again, since there was no alternative, it was not possible for the farmers to accept the offer of not taking land. Last week, a Section 20 notice was issued to the landowners. They did not accept it. The matter will be reported to the Deputy Commissioner. Then the activities will continue according to the process.