Urfi village and other areas in Urfi union are currently being affected by the erosion. The Manikhar bridge and riverside crop-fields, roads, madrasas, trees, and households are prone to disaster
With winter setting in, the effects of Madhumati River erosion on its banks have worsened in the past ten days. The river has already swallowed an area stretching over 5km in Gopalganj Sadar upazila.
Urfi village and other areas in Urfi union are currently being affected by the erosion. The Manikhar bridge and riverside crop-fields, roads, madrasas, trees, and households are prone to disaster.
After visiting the affected locations on Tuesday, our correspondent reported that the 5km area stretched from Manikhar bridge to Dumdia and crossed over Urfi Charpara. Meanwhile, 200 metres of the Manikhar-Haridaspur road have already been washed away.
"The riverbanks have been slowly eroding away for the last ten years stretching from Manikhar bridge to Haridaspur with Urfi, Urfi Charpara, Moddho Dumdia, and Dumdia Dokkhinpara villages in between. After cyclone Bulbul, the erosion has rekindled," said Amad Ali Sardar, a victim of river erosion and resident of Dumdia Moddhopara village.
"My kitchen has already gone under with the rest of the house to follow soon," he added sadly.
Touhid Sheikh of Dumdia village said: "The riverbank eroded significantly during the last monsoon. This winter the riverbank has started eroding again. The Manikhar bridge which is the only way to commute to Gopalganj for people of 15 villages is at risk.
Iqbal Gazi of Urfi Union said: "On August 1, Zahid Faruk, state minister for Water Resources, and Mahfuzur Rahman, director general of the Water Development Board, visited the erosion stricken area and dumped a few sandbags on the Madhumuti riverbanks. However, that did not solve anything. The river banks still continue to erode."
Water Development Board Executive Engineer Biswajit Baiddya said: "I have already visited the erosion-prone areas. To save Manikhar bridge and the adjacent roads from going under, I have initiated an emergency dumping of concrete blocks in a 140 metre area. Sandbags will also be placed on top of them. There is a plan for taking permanent preventive measures in 440 metres of the area."