Nearly 17,000 hectares of paddy fields worth Tk95 crore in three upazilas of Moulvibazar district have been damaged due to the recent flash flood in the Hakaluki Haor caused by heavy rainfall and onrush of water coming from upstream.
Officials of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) of Kulaura, Barlekha and Juri upazilas primarily estimated that the damage to be around Tk95 crore.
Boro was cultivated on around 6,550 hectares of land in Kulaura, some 5,470 hectares in Barlekha and 4,300 hectares in Juri, according to the DAE offices.
Nearly 26,000 farmers have been affected by the flood, but the losers still waiting for government allocation.
Farmers allege that the devastation could have been averted or at least minimised had the authorities concerned completed the river dredging work in time.
They say the loss and the number of affected farmers was much higher than the government estimate.
Md Shahajan, deputy director of Moulvibazar DAE, said: “We have already informed the higher authorities about the situation. We are waiting for relief for the victims.”
Locals blame the officials of Water Development Board for their miseries.
WDB officials claim that navigability of Juri and Kushiyara rivers reduced drastically due to sediment coming from the upstream, but admit that the rivers should have been excavated before April.
Bijoy Indra Shankar, WDB executive engineer of the district, said: “A project has been taken for excavating the beds of Juri and Sonai rivers. The primary works of the project have already begun.”
Allegations of corruption and negligence in embankment repair projects have been raised against some officials concerned in the Haor areas. The Anti-Corruption Commission has started investigation in some of the cases.
Last week, the district’s DAE office said that around 10,276 hectares of paddy fields were completely damaged in the flood and the estimated output from those fields stood at Tk121 crore, which is Tk80 crore less than primary assessment.
The district administration was allocated 100 tonnes of rice and Tk8 lakh cash for the affected people in seven upazilas.
The government on Sunday announced that some 335,000 families of the flood-ravaged Haor region would be given 30kg rice and Tk500 as emergency support, while some 171,715 families will get relief materials through the VGF programme and OMS.