A cattle market has been sitting every Sunday on the ground of a high school in Ghatail upazila for the last three decades, hampering classes and sports activities of the institution and creating health hazards due to cow dung and foul smell.
Around 700 students of Hasan Ali Public High School at Kadamtali have been facing various problems while attending classes or using the ground for playing games due to the market.
The school was established beside Tangail-Mymensingh Road in 1972 and the cattle market started sitting on the school ground since 1986, locals said. Although the market sits on Sunday, the garbage remains through the week, they said.
Though the school remains open for half the day on market day, only a few students attend the classes, said Rezaul Karim Raju of the area. The cattle market is the largest in the upazila, so a large number of cattle are brought to the market, he said.
Numerous holes and drains have been created on the huge school ground, which remains full of various wastes of the cattle, making it unfit for sports as well as movement, he said.
"We cannot play on the ground even on the days after the market day due to the dirty environment created by the cattle wastes,” said Miad Hossain, a Class IX student of the school.
The cow dung and dirty straw also spread to the classrooms and veranda of the school, creating problems in movement of the students. "It is tough to sit in the classroom due to the bad smell of the cattle wastes," said Sanwar Hossain Sunny, a Class X student of the school.
“Traffic jam is created on Tangail-Mymensingh Road on market day due to loading and unloading of cattle from the trucks parked beside the busy road,” said Liton Miah, a driver of a bus on the route.
Headmaster of the school Mohammad Ali Jinnah said local people have been conducting the cattle market since it was started. "A petition was submitted to the deputy commissioner in 2015 for removing the cattle market, but nothing was done in this regard," he added. Ghatail Upazila Nirbahi Officer Dilruba Ahmed said necessary steps will be taken in this regard after talking with all concerned.