Several hundred homesteads, croplands, and three-kilometre stretch of pucca road from Banstola bazar to Boalmari upazila have been gobbled up by the river
Various establishments of three unions in Alfadanga upazila of Faridpur district have been devoured by the Modhumoti River during the last two weeks.
The establishments include schools, madrasas, mosques, eidgah, pucca road, graveyard, homesteads and cluster village.
In the last 15 days, more than 300 families of the area have been shifted to safer ground. Besides, over 50 other establishments stand threatened due to the erosion by the Modhumoti.
Enam Hasan Shipon, Chairman of Togorbond union of Alfadanga upazila, said river bank erosion has affected an area of around two kilometers and five villages of the union.
He said Shikhapur Government Primary School, Darus Salam Dakhil Madrasa, a mosque and a large graveyard have been devoured by the river. Besides, a cluster village and 65 houses of ‘Asrayan Project’ were swallowed by the river while Shikarpur road and the Chordanga-Chorazampur Road faced partial erosion.
He further said 118 families have been shifted to other places within a span of one week.
Enamul Hasan, Chairman of Gopalpur union of the upazila, said the Modhumoti is eroding away large parts of the village Bajra. He said the river devoured Bajra Government Primary School and a mosque. Fifty homesteads of the area are being shifted to safer ground.
“The upazila administration has been informed about the loss of the school and holding of classes under the open sky,” Enamul said.
Mizanur Rahman Sarder, Chairman of Panchuria union, said parts of the south Panchuria union have crumbled into the river which is now only 20 yards away from the primary school building of west Char Narandia village, and the school may collapse anytime.
Several hundred homesteads, croplands, and three-kilometre stretch of pucca road from Banstola bazar to Boalmari upazila have been gobbled up by the river.
Jainab Khatun, headmistress of West Char Narandia Primary School, said her school was facing a serious threat. “The school building is now only 20 yards away from the river and as a result, the guardians are not sending their children to school,” she said.
Meanwhile, many people of the erosion-affected areas complained that Niloy Traders, the enlisted contractor of Water Development Board (WDB), is not using geobags properly.
Asaduzzaman, Assistant Commissioner (Land) of Alfadanga Upazila, said initially geobags were used and 226 affected families received assistance from the government. More people are being enlisted for assistance.
Referring to helplessness of the people of the affected villages, Alfadanga upazila Chairman AKM Zahid Hasan said erosion has hit three unions with the rise of Modhumoti water.
The affected people are shifting their homesteads, he said, requesting the authorities concerned to take necessary steps to address the issue of river erosion.
Most portions of the Banstola road of Panchuria union and two pucca roads of Togorbond area were partially affected by erosion, he added.
Sultan Mahmud, Executive Engineer of WDB Faridpur, said strong current made it tough to carry out emergency work.
“About Tk 300 crore will be needed for constructing a permanent embankment to check erosion by the river. But we’re not getting fund as per our requirement,” he added.
Contacted, Atul Sarker, Deputy Commissioner of Faridpur, said erosion is affecting the banks of Padma, Modhumoti and Arial Khan rivers in the district.
“Work is on to stop theverosion. We’re trying our best so that work to check erosion can be done permanently during the next dry season,” he said.