Brahmaputra, Teesta rivers devour thousands of houses in Kurigram
KURIGRAM, Aug 12: Massive erosion by the Brahmaputra and the Teesta rivers is going on at different upazilas including Roumari, Rajibpur, Sadar and Rajarhat of the district.
Around 700 houses, earthen and pucca roads, different educational and religious institutions, and shops under 35 villages in Roumari and Rajibpur upazilas have been eroded by the Brahmaputra since July last.
Besides, around hundred houses at Farazipara, Baldiapara, and Goruhara villages under Jatrapur union in Sadar upazila have been eroded by the continuous erosion by the Brahmaputra.
On the other hand, around 200 houses of Tyeb Khan village under Bidyananda union in Rajarhat upazila have also gone into the Teesta River following the erosion.
The eroded areas are: Italukanda, Saheber Alga, Char Gendar Alga, Char Ghughumari, Kheruar Char, Purba Kheruar Char, Purba Khedaimari, Uttar Khedaimari, Paschim Pakhiura, Pakhiura, Paschim Baguarchar, Baguarchar, Baishpara, Baladmara, Purba Baladmara, Dhanarchar, Dhanarchar Notun Gram, Diglapara, and Tintely under Roumari upazila; Shankarmadhabpur, Sajai, Char Sajai, Bollapara, Uttar Kodalkati, Nayarchar, Nayarachar Bazaar, Mather Bhita, Laushala, and Tangoilapara under Rajibpur
Due to erosion, villages and croplands are getting lost in the rivers. Thousands of people have been rendered homeless. The families have taken shelter on high embankments and others' lands and houses.
If steps are not taken immediately, properties worth several thousand crore taka including Roumari upazila parishad building will be devoured by the Brahmaputra in near future.
Hamida Khatun of Baladmara village under Roumari upazila said, "We have no arable lands. All have been eroded by the river."
Korban Ali of Paschim Baguarchar village under the same upazila said, "We had to shift the location of our house two times in a year. But, now there is no land left to shift the house again. Our only demand is protection from the erosion. We do not want relief; we only want to live along with our families."
Executive Director of NGO CSDK in Roumari upazila Md Abu Hanif Master said, "In the last five years, around 50,000 families in Roumari, Rajibpur and Chilmari upazilas have lost their belongings and properties in the river. A major portion of these families are now living in Dhaka city and other big cities and towns. If proper steps are not taken, the two upazilas- Roumari and Rajibpur will vanish from the map in near future."
Roumari Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Md Fauzul Kabir said, soon after the flood water receded, severe erosion has started at Char Shoulmari, Bandaber and Jadur Char unions under Roumari upazila and Kodalkati and Mohanganj unions under Rajibpur upazila.
Chairman of Roumari upazila parishad Md Mojibur Rahman Bangabashi said, "The government should take steps to check erosion. If the erosion continues, the upazila may vanish from the map in future."
In this connection, Executive Engineer of Water Development Board (WDB) in Kurigram Md Shafiqul Islam admitted the erosion by the Brahmaputra and the Teesta rivers and said, "We have sent letter to the higher authority seeking immediate steps to check erosion. After getting allocation, necessary steps would be taken. We have taken a project to protect around 7 km on the left side of the Brahmaputra River and 25 km dredging work worth Tk 750 crore in Roumari and Rajibpur upazilas. The project will be sent to the concerned ministry soon."