Padma devours 200 bighas of land at Bagha

There is no respite in erosion of the mighty river Padma in Bagha upazila and more than 200 bighas of land have already been devoured by the turbulent water during the last three days.

On Friday afternoon, the Padma devoured over 200 bighas of land including cropfields from the Ghat of Khalil Majhi to Fazal Ghat member under Chalkrajapur union of the upazila. The intensity of erosion of the embankment and its surrounding areas is so severe that people of the village are apprehending the entire village would wipe out in the river within next one to two weeks. The erosion of the river is also threatening lives of people of 15 char villages.

Mostaq Ahmed Shikder of Chalkrajapur village informed, 15 houses of the village have been shifted from the erosion prone area. Crop fields, land, trees and houses of some 200 villagers have been eroded by the turbulent Padma. If such erosion continued for some more days, there will be no trace of the entire village.

By watching the wrath of the river Padma and its turbulent wave washing away fields, trees and houses, people of the village were desperately running for a safe shelter. Erosion prone people of the village were spending their every moment in panic. Many of them have turned pauper by losing their only habitat while others were busy in finding a new place to take shelter. Though the erosion of the river is continuing, officials of Water Development Board have taken no step yet to check erosion.

Fifteen families of Rishipara village including Suresh Das, Nirapad, Shankar. Bhabesh.,Sukumar, Madan, Haren, Niranjan, Sujon, Mithun, Ratan, Kanon, Anonta, Khokon, Uzzal, Renuka, Astro and Sachin were in continuous panic of being eroded in the river Padma any time.

They alleged, though various political leaders for years have assured them of making embankment along the river Padma, none of them shown up after the election. Several thousand acres of prized land have been devoured by the river Padma during last one decade, he added. During last couples of years, Laxminagar Primary School and Chowmadia Primary School have been shifted to other places and three mosques and three BGB camps were also devoured in the river. The flood protection barrage which was constructed in 1977-1978 was never repaired.

Azizul Alam, chairman of Chalkrajapur union, said some old embankments of the river were about to wash away. The Padma turned so violent and the erosion was so intense that water would soon enter into the residential areas, he added.

Bagha upazila Vice-Chairman Shafiur Rahman Shafi said, most of the area of the union have already been devastated in the river Padma and as a result, the map of the area has been changed. Thousands of acres of cropland, houses, trees and cattleheads have been washed away in the river during last two decades. He would raise the issue of erosion to the concerned authorities during next meeting, he informed.

Upazila Nirbahi Officer of Bagha informed, the Water Development Board had sent a demand-letter to the concerned ministry and waiting for a Project to be approved by the government in this connection.

Meanwhile, our Bogra correspondent adds: The mighty Jamuna river has been eroding the flood control embankment at Shaharabari in Bhandarbari union under Dhunat Upazila of the district for the last few days. The farmers are mostly suffering due to the frequent flood in the Dhunot, Shariakandi and Sonatola upazilas.

Water Development Board (WDB) sources said they have been trying to prevent erosion by dumping sand bags near the spur. Around 30 metres of a spur and the flood control embankment of the area were eroded till last Saturday as the water level of the Jamuna has risen by 14 cm in the last few days, source added.

The 30 metres spur and the flood control embankment at Shaharabari area of the upazila was constructed costing government fund about some five years ago. It was being eroded from last week causing concern among the people residing on the river Jamuna bank.

It may be mentioned here that this is the third incidents of erosion in the current season.

The first one took place at Prem Jamuna ghat area about fifteen days ago as soon as the monsoon had begun while the second one took place in the early morning of July 19 last when about 55 metres CC blocks of the upazila town protection embankment eroded in the river.

However, the second erosion was temporarily repaired by placing geo bags and sand filled bags immediately after the incident at an estimated costing huge fund by the WDB authority. However WDB sources scouring at the river bed due to strong current was another reason of erosion. WDB has already started protective measures by placing geo bags and sand filled bags in the river bed for check further erosion and damage.

Belal Hossain, chairman of Bhandarbari union, said the authority concerned yet to take any effective action to repair the collapsed spur for protecting the town. Consequently, there is a threat of erosion of croplands and homesteads in the villages under the union, he added.