SIRAJGANJ, Apr 17: The vast areas of seven rivers flowing into the district- Isamati, Hurasagar, Garudaha, Fuljor, Saraswati, Boral and Gumani, have turned into cultivable land during dry season.
Once these rivers used to flow with a force in different areas of the district, but the alluvial deposit in the process has transformed the river beds into farm land, the local people said.
During the dry season, all the waterless basins of the rivers look like dead cannel. Every year the silted rivers become completely lifeless in absence of any water flow.
Taking advantage, the farmers grow paddy and vegetables in hundreds of hectors of farm lands that emerge during dry season. This way once the frenzy rivers become cultivable land with the passage of time, the locals said.
Experts view that the cultivation of crops and vegetables in the river bed may cause destruction of different varieties of local fish. All this may also lead to environmental hazard in the adjacent river-belt areas, they added.
Saiful Islam, Tarash upazila Agriculture officer, detailing how local rivers have been died, said Gumani River, which used to flow within the middle of the upazila, released about 2500-hector land for paddy cultivation. Besides, popcorn is being cultivated in Said Khal area of the upazila. The use of pesticides for increasing the harvest in other way is causing destructive effect to germination leading to extinction of fish, he apprehended.
Saraswati River in the middle of Fulzor and Hatikumar union of SaIn Salda sadar under Rupganj upazila, Isamati in Raiganj upazila, Gumani in Tarash and Hurasagar in Belkuchi, where boats used to play, have been silted with alluvial deposits. All these rivers have been transformed into firm land for cultivation of paddy.
Solaiman, farmer of Diarpara Goja village, Akbar Hossain of Nokla village under Raiganj upazila, while talking with this correspondent, vividly described the process of change in rivers' basins and their transformation into farmland.
Enamul Haque, Agriculture officer of Rupganj upazila, informed the process of transformation started from 2009 increased the harvest, but the pesticides used might cause environmental hazard. According to him, more than 400 hectors of land are being used for the cultivation of paddy and vegetable.