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421C project to save Chandpur town awaits approval

  • Published at 02:30 pm August 20th, 2020
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The town protection embankment lost a significant portion of its structure to the Meghna River in Puranbazar, Chandpur Dhaka Tribune

A 25-metre area along the river has already gone into the gorge of the mighty Meghna while another 100 metres stand threatened by erosion

The district administration of Chandpur has sent a project proposal with an outlay of Tk421 crore to the Ministry of Water Resources for its approval to protect the town’s embankment from erosion by the Meghna River.

Officials said riverbank erosion wreaks havoc on the district town every year, leaving thousands of people homeless.

Erosion by the Meghna River has taken a serious turn over the last one week in Puran Bazar area of the district town, forcing hundreds of people to move their belongings to safer areas.

A 25-metre area along the river has already gone into the gorge of the mighty river while another 100 metres stand threatened by erosion.

The river was flowing 40.27cm above its danger level on Wednesday.

According to Chandpur Water Development Board, the local administration has taken the project to permanently protect the residents and establishments in the district town from erosion.

The project has been sent to the Water Resources Ministry and now the proposal is under scrutiny, said an official at the Water Development Board.

During a recent visit to the erosion-hit area, Chief Engineer of Water Development Board (Comilla zone) Zahir Uddin Ahmed said, “We’ve taken a project to protect the district town from riverbank erosion permanently. We’ve submitted the project to the ministry concerned for its approval. The project works include the renovation of a 3.5km area of the town protection embankment.”

“We’ve conducted a study on how to make the embankment stronger after examining the water flow of the Padma, Meghna and Dakatia rivers. Once the project is implemented, the district town will be free from riverbank erosion,” said Zahid Uddin.

He said a significant portion of the town protection embankment have been damaged due to lack of maintenance and strong current in the river during monsoon.

Besides, he said, a 150-metre part at Harishabha in Puran Bazar area collapsed in 2019, he added.

Although renovation work was carried out on an emergency basis, now a 100-metre area of the embankment is under threat of erosion as multiple cracks have developed at three points in the area, said Zahir Uddin.

The local administration has kept sandbags at the ready at the erosion-prone areas to be able to promptly offer initial protection to the embankment, he added.

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