Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer

Environmental and Social Effects of Stone Quarrying in Bangladesh: A Study in the Khasi People Area in Sylhet


This study investigates how the unregulated and unscientific manner of stone quarrying in Bangladesh degrades the environment and affects the life and livelihoods of the local people. The recent countrywide construction boom and infrastructural development kept the GDP growth constant in Bangladesh. This construction boom generates colossal demand for stones, and the Sylhet region is its major supplier. Although there are laws and legal mechanisms to regulate stone quarrying in the country, the miners do not follow these. This study found that the local Khasi people of the stone quarrying area have been experiencing systematic and forcible dispossession due to merging their lands into stone quarrying sites. These people are the victims of different forms of pollution due to unregulated stone quarrying. And the area has been experiencing a social transformation because of the settling of the people of the mainstream Bengali community from the poverty porn areas of the country to sustain their life by managing their livelihoods by working in the stone quarries. The study also explores how the lack of monitoring and corruption of the state and non-state actors in the stone quarrying sectors degraded the environment and transformed society in the last decades.


Unregulated Stone Quarrying, Environmental Degradation, Khasi People, Sylhet Region



  1. Ahmed, A. A. M., Mahzuz, H. M. A. and Yusuf, M. A. (2010). Minimising the stone dust through a sustainable way: a case study of stone crushing industry of Sylhet, Proc. of International Conference on Environmental Aspects of Bangladesh (ICEAB10).
  2. Al-mahmood, S. Z. (2009, 13 February). A Stone’s Throw from Eden, The Daily Star.
  3. Ardejani, F. D. et al.(2022). Developing a Conceptual Framework of Green Mining Strategy in Coal Mines: Integrating Socio-economic, Health, and Environmental Factors’, Journal of Mining and Environment, 13(1), pp. 101–115. doi: 10.22044/jme.2022.11704.2161.
  4. Babbie, E. (2001). The Practice of Social Research. Wadsworth Thomson.
  5. Blalock, H. M. (1972). Social Statistics. McGraw-Hill Book Co. Inc.
  6. Cambridge Dictionary (no date). Quarry.
  7. Chowdhury, D. (2018, 02 March). Extracting stones at the cost of lives, Daily Star.
  8. Coppin, N. J. and Bradshaw, A. D. (1982). Quarry Reclamation: The Establishment of Vegetation in Quarries and Open Pit Non-metal Mines, Mining Journal Books.
  9. Daily Star (2019, 7 December). Illegal stone crushers destroying environment.
  10. Dev, B. (2014, 23 March). Stone Quarries under Threat, The Independent.
  11. Farzana, S. Z. et al. (2014). A study on noise pollution of stone crusher machine at Jaflong, Sylhet’, in 5th International Conference on Environmental Aspects of Bangladesh [ICEAB 2014]. Dhaka. p20.pdf
  12. Guion, L. A., Diehl, D. C. and McDonald, D. (2011). Conducting an In-depth Interview. DOI:
  13. Haghshenas, S. S. et al. (2022). Statistical Study to Evaluate Performance of Cutting Machine in Dimension Stone Cutting Process, Journal of Mining and Environment, 13(1), pp. 53–67.
  14. Hajkazemiha, N. et al. (2021). Evaluation of Mine Reclamation Criteria using Delphi-Fuzzy Approach, Journal of Mining and Environment, 12(2), pp. 367–384. doi: 10.22044/jme.2020.9674.1880.
  15. Hoque, M. J. (2017). Social and Environmental Costs of Unregulated Stone Mining in Sylhet of Bangladesh, Extraction/Exclusion: Exploring multidisciplinary approaches to exclusionary practices in resource extraction. Oxford: School of Geography and the Environment and St Antony’s College, University of Oxford.
  16. Hoque, M. J. (2018). Marginalisation and Environmental Degradation: The Case of the Khasi People in Bangladesh. SOAS University of London.
  17. Hoque, M. J. (2019). Natural Resource Management of the Khasi People and Conservation of Environment: A Study of the Sylhet of Bangladesh, Journal of Politics and Administration, 4(1), pp. 75–90.
  18. Hossain, M. N. A. (2018, 4 June). A new Asian tiger? Bangladesh economy is growing but it’s a jobless growth, The Daily Star.
  19. Institute of Quarrying (2020). What is Quarrying?
  20. Islam, M. S. (2018, 14 January). Stone quarrying threatens Khasi villages in Sylhet, Dhaka Tribune.
  21. Jasim, E. H. (2020, 24 January). Extracting stones in Sylhet quarries at cost of lives, Bangladesh Post.
  22. Khan, K. (2009a, 10 March). Extraction ban makes stone chips rare, price, The Daily Star.
  23. Khan, K. (2009b, 10 September). Stone chips exports to India double on high demand, The Daily Star.
  24. Khoda, M. (2007). Bholagonj’s Stone Quarry Workers: A Life of Constant Struggle, Sylhet, Bangladesh. Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining in Asia Pacific Case Study Series.
  25. Lad R. J. & Samant J. S. (2013). Environmental impact of bauxite mining in the Western Ghats in south Maharashtra, India, International Journal of Recent Scientific Research, 4(8), pp. 1275–1281.
  26. Lad R. J.; Samant J. S. (2014). Environmental and social impacts of stone quarrying-a case study of Kolhapur district, International Journal of Current Research, 6(3), pp. 5664–5669.
  27. Marshall, M. N. (1996).Sampling for qualitative research, Family Practice, 13(6), pp. 522–526. DOI:
  28. Maykut, P., Pamela, S. and Morehouse, R. (1994). Beginning qualitative research : a philosophic and practical guide. Falmer Press.
  29. National Geographic (no date). Quarry.
  30. Pouresmaeili, E., Ebrahimabadi, A. and Hamidian, H. (2020). A New Semi-Quantitative Approach to Open-Pit Mine Sustainability Assessment, Journal of Mining and Environment, 11(4), pp. 1191–1203. doi: 10.22044/jme.2020.10177.1954.
  31. The Business Standard (2020, 16 February). Stone quarries in Sylhet a threat to lives, environment, The Business Standard.
  32. Trochim, W. M. K. (2006). Research Methods Knowledge Base: Unit of Analysis.
  33. World Bank (2016). Bangladesh Development Update: Economy Requires Focus on Sustainable and Inclusive Growth.
  34. World Bank (2019). Bangladesh Development Update: Regulatory Predictability Can Sustain High Growth.


Download data is not yet available.