The locals have demanded the cancellation of the plan to set up an industrial park by showing 500 acres of fertile and 4 crop lands of Shibganj in Bogra as an offsali (vita land) on paper. On Tuesday, locals rallied in Uthli area of Bogra-Joypurhat road. More than 5,000 people participated in the two-hour long program.
It is learned that BSIC has sent a letter to the ministry asking for allotment of 500 acres of land in 6 mouzas including Uthli, Narayanpur, Saleman Dhondakola, Chanpur, Khalimpur and Harirampur in Shibganj upazila for setting up an northern agro-processing industrial park. So that the fertile and 4 crop lands have been shown offsali. Meanwhile, the farmers of the area have started agitation demanding cancellation of the decision to set up an industrial park after learning about the letter.
People from all walks of life including women, men and children staged a protest on the Mokamatla-Joypurhat road from Ganeshpur to Rathbari on Tuesday, ignoring the scorching sun.
At the same time, they said, BSIC is trying to evict 3 Hindu and 4 Muslim villages by showing uncultivated / single crop of four crop and very fertile lands with wrong information. The people of this region are dependent on agriculture.
Shibganj Upazila Agriculture Officer Krishibid Al Mujahid Sarkar said Shibganj is one of the major vegetable producers. In Uthli area of Shibganj, most of the lands have more than three crop and four crop lands.
Jahedul Islam, deputy general manager of Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSIC) Bogra, said, “We initially went to the area and saw the banana plantation as a crop.” However, the issue of land acquisition in the area has not been finalized yet. It is at an early stage, the matter will be looked into by the Department of Agriculture.
Bogra Deputy Commissioner Md. Ziaul Haque said the issue of land acquisition is at an early stage. Necessary steps will be taken in this regard.
It may be mentioned that on April 1, BSIC sent the necessary information to the Ministry of Industries, including consent for allotment of 500 acres of land for setting up of Northern Agricultural Processing Industries Park. Meanwhile, the locals have submitted a petition to the Ministry of Industries, Upazila Nirbahi Officer and Upazila Agriculture Officer demanding cancellation of the land acquisition proposal along with a demand to cancel the plan to set up an industrial park.