Madhumati erodes 20 shops at Kashiani
GOPALGANJ, Oct 14: Over 20 shops of Bhatiapara Bazar in Kashiani Upazila of the district were eroded by the Madhumati River on Thursday night.
Bhatiapara Bazar Association leaders alleged due to negligence by local Water Development Board (WDB), the erosion occurred making a loss of taka several crore. The erosion started at 3am.
Traders and locals said, despite all-out effort, the shops could not be protected. The local administration is yet to estimate the exact damage. But businessmen said it will be about Tk 10 crore.
It was learnt, Bhatiapara Bazar grew along the Madhumati River during the British regime.
There are animal feed shops, jute godown, sweet shops, mobile phone shops, and pharmacies in the bazaar. Traders from Gopalganj and neighbouring districts come to the bazaar for purchasing goods. Traders of the bazaar became victims of erosion for several times earlier.
Block dyke was raised around eroded areas in 1996. But due to recent sand lifting illegally from the river, the erosion took place again.
The victim shop owners are Shaymal Kumar Saha, Ziaur Rahman Zia, Abir Hasan, Khokan Kazi, Haidar Kazi, Harun Kazi, Md Shafikul Islam, Ashraf Uddin Tara Molla, Abirar Kazi, Md Moshiur Rahman Khan, Shushanta Kumar Saha, Altaf Chowdhury, Dilip Kumar Saha, Avijit Saha, Zakir Molla, Sohel Molla, Chan Mia Sharif, Hiron Karikar, Shahjahan Kazi, Rashid Sheikh, Ramiz Molla, and Bablu Thakur.
Ashraf Uddin Tara Molla said, his godown has got embedded into the river bed with jute and nuts, involving an estimated loss of about Tk 2 lakh.
Seed businessman Ramiz Molla said, with his shop, five bags of coriander seed, 2 maunds of grass pea seeds, 2 maunds of red pulse seeds, black gram pulse seeds, black cumin and crop seeds were washed away. His economic loss was estimated to be over Tk 2 lakh.
Bablu Thakur said, 110 maunds of jute, 22 bags of coriander, 41 bags of pulse and 31 bags of nut were washed away.
General Secretary of Bhatiapara Bazar Association Khokan Kazi said, 25 shops were taken away by the late night erosion harming many businessmen.
Its President Zahidur Rahman claimed, the economic loss would be at least Tk 20 crore. Many have turned destitute, he added.
WDB, he added, is supposed to maintain the bazaar protection dam yearly. It has also allocation for maintenance. The dam was risky previously. But WDB took no initiative, he added.
Kashiani Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Rakhindro Nath Ray said, the erosion hit the bazaar protection dam suddenly; it devoured 20/25 shops at once; still one mosque and some shops are under threat.
"WDB is dumping geo-bags. We are trying to prevent erosion," he added.
He further said, the work is going on to list victims and estimate damages.
Executive Engineer of WDB-Gopalganj Md Faijur Rahman said, after being informed, he inspected eroded areas.
The erosion occurred across half kilometre stretches of the dam.
We are trying best to protect other shops and installations, he maintained.