20,000 villagers in panic as Meghna erosion continues unabated in Laxmipur
KAMALNAGAR, LAXMIPUR, July 19: Severe river erosion is continuing in Kamalnagar and Ramgoti upazilas of the district.
About 20,000 people in 10 villages don't have Eid enthusiasm. They are looking for shelter. Their houses, roads, haats-bazaars, education institutions and wide areas are getting embedded into the river;
With the beginning of Bengali rainy month Shraban, the erosion in the Meghna River started severely hitting the areas along its banks in Nasirganj, Kadirponditerhat, Ludhua Falcon, and Patarirhat under Kamalnagar Upazila, and Pachwim Balurchar, Janata Bazar, Munsipra, Charalgi, Bibirhat, and Borkheli under Ramgoti Upazila.
In fear of erosion, most people in these localities are leaving their houses, lands and unmoveable assets.
While talking with this correspondent of The Daily Observer, some locals said, since the beginning of the rainy season in Ashar, every day 10-12 houses have been eroded; after losing houses, some of them are taking shelters in other places while some are seeking abode in relatives' houses. Others are living on government embankment. Without income, they are passing days in hardship.
An inhabitant of Janata Bazar area in Ramgoti Upazila and Advocate of Laxmipur Judge Court Ripon Patwari said, they are trying to prevent Janata Bazar and some education institutions from the Meghna erosion. He added, they got hope as, in this connection, a project of about Tk 3,100 crore has been approved at the ECNEC meeting recently. But the project implementation did not begin due to various limitations, he further said.
Already Char Balua Government Primary School, two duplex buildings and several houses have got eroded by the river; he maintained, adding, so there is no Eid festivity among the locals.
Chairman Master Md Sayef Ullah of Char Kalkini Union under Kamalnagar Upazila said, the union is getting smaller due to unabated erosion; in the last three weeks, over 150 shops of Nasirganj Bazar were devoured; other shops are under erosion threat; now one primary school, one mosque and one Madrasa are also under threat.
Chairman of Patarirhat Union and General Secretary of Upazila Awami League Advocate AKM Nurul Amin Razu said, at least 30 families lost their houses due to erosion in the last two months. These destitute families are passing sleepless night in erosion panic.
If the ECNEC approved project is implemented, there will be no erosion in future, he added.
Upazila Project Implementation Officer (Acting-Kamalnagar) Md Riyad Hossain said, on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha, under VGF programme, 10 kg rice has been given to each of erosion victim families in the 10 villages.
Executive Engineer of the Water Development Board (WDB)-Laxmipur Faruk Ahmed said, in order to prevent erosion, a project has got ECNEC approval; after getting the allocation, effective initiative will be taken, he added.
Besides, an initiative has been taken to drop geo-bags in 10 points of the embankment, he informed, adding, it will tackle severity of current in the river.