Over the last week, more than 100 families have lost their houses and lands to the river
A Tk78 lakh high school building has been washed away by the Padma River in Bagha upazila, Rajshahi.
The Chokrajapur High School building on Sunday was completely washed away by the river due to land erosion, while the staff was salvaging the building’s furniture.
The school was closed indefinitely a week ago. The building had accommodated 613 students. Both students and teachers of the school were frustrated by the incident.
There were two high schools in the Padma’s shore area of the upazila - Chokrajapur and Palashi Fatehpur High School— only one is left.
Many of the school’s students have expressed their grief to the press.
Principal of the School Abdus Satter said: “We thought that the level of water in the river would soon diminish and nobody expected such a thing to happen to the school building.
“The building slowly disintegrated into the river, in front of our eyes, as we were moving belongings from it.”
In the last 14 years, the school suffered land erosion twice.
Union Parishad Chairman and President of the School Management Committee Azizul Azam said: “In the last three decades two schools, roads, markets and huge portions of cultivable lands were swept into the river because of river and land erosion. Many have lost everything, including their homes.”
He added: “The UNO gave orders to shift the school after he visited the place twice, on August 2 and 6.”
Mostaque Shikder, a resident of the area said their livelihoods are in danger because of the rising water levels of the river.
In the 2015-16 fiscal year, the school building was built by the Local Government Administration. Before that, is was shifted to Kalidas Khali Moujay in 2012 because of land erosion.
Water Development Board Chief Engineer Moklesur Rahman said: “The area is surrounded by the Padma River, from all sides, and we have already undertaken a project in hand to save the area, but it has not been approved by Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec)yet.”
The danger line of Rajshahi city is 18.50 metres. On Saturday, a water level of 16.41 metres was recorded, and on Sunday it was 16.33 metres.
Over the last week, more than 100 families have lost their houses and lands to the river.