July 23, 2024, 12:02 pm

River erosion takes serious turn in Sirajganj

  • Update Time : Saturday, June 22, 2024
  • 319 Time View
The photo taken from the eastern side of Enayetpur bazaar in Sirajganj district shows the view of severe river erosion by the Jamuna river. Photo: TDS
  • Croplands, low-lying areas inundated for continuous swelling of Jamuna

Selim Reza with Sirajul Islam Shishir:

With the rising of water level, erosion by the river Jamuna has taken serious turn at different places in Sirajganj district especially in Chowhali, Shahzadpur and Belkuchi upazila making many people displaced.

Meanwhile, about 50 homesteads, vast tract of croplands and different other installations including a graveyard in Shahzadpur, Chowhali and Belkuchi upazila have been devoured by the erosion. Many houses, croplands and installations including educational institutions are now under threat of erosion. Those may go into the riverbed any time. As a result, people of the area are facing economical insecurity for the upcoming days.

Though, the officials of the Water Development Board (WDB) in Sirajganj claimed that they are working hard to stop erosion by taking several types of protection measures, locals blamed the negligence of authorities concerned of the WDB officials for the recent erosion of the Jamuna river.

Locals complained that, if the necessary steps were taken by the WDB authorities during the dry season, such situation would not create at this time.

It is to be mentioned that, the government under supervision of the Water Development Board (WDB) has taken a project titled “River Bank (embankment) Protection Project” stretching around 6.5 km area from Enayetpur’s Brahmangram to Panchil at a cost of Tk 650 crore. The work order for package no-8 of the project was given to Aminul Islam Jhantu, an influential political leader of Jatiya Party and also relative of a former Cabinet Secretary and former Secretary of the Ministry of Water Resources.

However, there is a complaint that, the work of the project is going on at a snail’s pace due to extreme negligence of the concerned construction firm.

In this circumstance, the erosion unfortunately has taken serious turn at the project area after rising of water in the Jamuna river.

Locals said, about 50 homesteads, vast tract of croplands and several other installations including a graveyard in Arkandi, Jalalpur and Hatpanchil area have gone into the riverbed in the last week due to strong current of the river.

Fazlul Haque, a local resident told The Daily Sky that, “Workers of the construction firm in collaboration with the WDB officials are taking relief from responsibility by throwing some sand sacks at the erosion affected areas. Besides, they are preparing some blocks at the site area saying that those will be dumped at the affected areas after recession of water level. But, locals are being displaced for damaging the area. But, the authorities don’t have any concern about this.”

Rubiya Akhter, another widow of the area said, “Due to starting of massive erosion by the mighty river Jamuna, many people have shifted their homesteads to safer places. Many of them have taken shelter on highlands and roadsides, while many are passing miserable lives under the open sky. But, there is no one to see the matter. Even, none of the government or NGOs visited to us to see our sufferings.”

“Local public representatives just made commitment during their elections. But, they don’t look us for next time,” she added.

While this correspondent contacted with Md. Milton Hossain, Sub-Divisional Engineer (SDE) of WDB (in charge of Shahzadpur-Chowhali-Belkuchi area) in Sirajganj over cell phone on Saturday for his comment in this regard, he declined to make any comment saying that, “I am a sincere officer in this department. So, I can’t make any comment without consent of the Executive Engineer.”

On the other hand, the rising of water has remained unchanged in the Jamuna river and its tributaries including Korotoa, Phooljor, Hurasagor and Bangal due to heavy rains and onrush of water from the upstream.

Consequently, low-laying areas in different Chars in the five upazilas-Sirajganj Sadar, Kazipur, Belkuchi, Chowhali and Shahzadpur have gone under water. Crops including vegetables have damaged due to the flash floods.

On Saturday, the water of Jamuna river near Sirajganj town protection point was flowing about 82cm below the danger mark after rising 11cm in the last 24 hours.

On the other hand, the water of Jamuna river near Kazipur point was flowing about 98cm below the danger mark. The water continues to rising.

Seeking anonymity, an official of WDB said, there is a possibility to increase the water until June 30, if rainfall is continuous. But, there is no possibility of massive floods in the area right now.

Anwar Sadat, Upazila Agriculture Officer of Sirajganj Sadar told The Daily Sky that, “Farmers in the area are in concern over their crops as they cannot harvest those so far. In this situation, we are monitoring the matter closely.”

Mahbubur Rahman, Executive Engineer of WDB in Sirajganj said that, “The water of Jamuna may increase for few more days. But, there is nothing of panic over massive floods. The water is likely to recede after June. We however, have taken all kinds of preparation to tackle the situation, if any part of the district is affected by floods.”

(This report was produced with the information provided by our Belkuchi, Shahzadpur and Chowhali correspondents.)

 

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