Tk1.79cr distributed among erosion victims
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Wednesday approved a proposal to protect Zajira and Naria upazilas of Shariatpur district from river erosion at a cost of Tk1,077.58 crore.
The committee at a meeting, with Finance Minister AMA Muhith in the chair, gave the go-ahead to the proposal placed by Water Resources Ministry, official sources said, reports BSS.
Under the proposal, the contract will be handed over to Bangladesh Navy-run Khulna Shipyard for implementation of the project to protect 8.90km of riverbank in the upazilas, that includes dredging and construction of ferry terminals.
The approval came at a time when thousands have been rendered homeless by the scourge of the Padma in the two upazilas over the past three months.
The government has so far distributed nearly Tk1.79 crore in cash and 5,952 bundles of corrugated Iron (CI) sheets among 5,081 families affected by the Padma erosion in the district this year.
Earlier, the Disaster Management and Relief Ministry allocated Taka 1,81,50,000 for the district as house building grants along with 6,050 bundles of CI sheet. Under the scheme each erosion affected family will get cash Tk3000 along with a bundle of CI sheet.
Additionally, the government has distributed 675 tons of rice and Tk52 lakh in cash as gratuitous relief (GR) among the river erosion victims of Noria, Zajira, and Bhedorganj upazilas of the district in the current year, said officials.
Disaster Management and Relief (DM&R) Minister, Mofazzal Hossen Chowdhury Maya, while visiting Naria upazila on September 18, said, “The government under Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF) program will distribute rice among 5,081 erosion affected families till December 31.”
Project Implementation Officer (PIO) of the Disaster Management and Relief Ministry of Zajira upazila, Shawpan Matubbar, said that in Naria, the government has distributed 5,000 bundles of CI sheet and Tk1.50 crore as house building assistance among 5,000 erosion victim families.
Apart from this, the government has distributed 609.72 tons of VGF rice among the erosion affected families,where each family will get 30 kg of rice in a month till December, along with 14,000 packets of dry food, said the official.
Meanwhile, the government has allocated a total of 18,000 packets of dry food for erosion affected poor families,each packet containing five kg of rice, one kg pulses, one kg sugar, one kg flattened rice, 500 grams of puffed rice, 1-kg edible oil, and a box of matches.
A vast area with about 200 buildings, including hospitals, clinics, mosques, temples, and business houses in Naria, has been eroded as the mighty Padma continues to devour its right bank in the district, leaving hundreds of people homeless.
River erosion in Naria and Zajira upazilas of the district has been occurring in the rainy season for the last several years. But this time, erosion by the Padma has taken a serious turn.
The locals said over 20 square kilometres of land in Naria have been eroded in the last three years. This year the erosion began some two and a half months ago, but the severe erosion began on September 3 and it is still continuing, they added.