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Save us from riverbank erosion, plead Manikganj residents

  • Published at 10:32 pm November 3rd, 2019
mehedi-hasan-river-erosion
File Photo of River erosion Mehedi Hasan/ Dhaka Tribune

Over 50 houses, one mosque, and a market were devoured by the Kaliganga within the last two weeks

Erosion by the Kaliganga River in Manikganj has taken a turn for the worse, making hundreds of people of Bengroi village in Sadar upazila turn into paupers.

“The river gobbled up a three-kilometre area in the last 12 years,” said Nabogram Union Parishad Member Md Tojumuddin. “However, the erosion has taken a serious turn in the last two years.”

Over 50 houses, one mosque, and a market were devoured by the Kaliganga within the last two weeks, locals said.

Liakat Ali, Hazrat Ali, Jiakat Ali, Abdul Majid, Shukur Ali, and Yaad Ali are some of the victims who have lost everything in this year’s riverbank erosion.

Liakat is now staying at a temporary tin-shed shelter with his family, several hundred metres from where his house stood.

Hatem Ali, a resident of the village, told UNB that he was penniless, and was forced to take shelter in other’s land after the river devoured his house.

Jiakat Ali had lost his house to erosion once last year. “I rebuilt it but the river gobbled it up again,” he said. “I’m broke.”

Hundreds of people formed a human chain on Friday on the Kaliganga bank at Bengroi village, urging the government to save them from erosion.

They said they lose their houses, croplands, markets, educational institutions, mosques, and madrasas every year, but the local administration is indifferent to their sufferings, and took no steps to protect them.

Local Ward member Taslima Akhter said the district administration and Water Development Board (WDB) officials visited the erosion-hit areas many times in the last two years but took no steps to tackle the situation.

Md Main Uddin, executive engineer of Manikganj WDB, said they will throw geobags in the river during this winter to tackle the erosion.

“We’ve informed the higher-ups about taking steps to permanently stop the erosion in this area,” he added.

Deputy Commissioner SM Ferdous said he had visited the erosion-hit area, and seen the sufferings of people.

“I’ve urged WDB to take steps to save the area from erosion as soon as possible,” he said.

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