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Dhaka Tribune

Untimely Jamuna River erosion: Over 200 homes devoured, many rendered homeless

Local people said fear of river erosion has now gripped them more than coronavirus

Update : 06 Jun 2020, 01:37 PM

Over 200 houses and other establishments went into the gorge of the Jamuna River in the last few days until Saturday as untimely river erosion has taken a serious turn in Shahjadpur upazila of Sirajganj.

Besides, around 15,000 people are passing days in fear of losing their homesteads amid coronavirus pandemic.

According to the locals, more than 200 houses, crops and plants have already been washed away by the river, reports UNB.

Last year, more than 400 houses, several educational institutions, a medical centre, two Eidgah grounds, 50 handloom factories, 400 bighas of arable land, 3km of unpaved roads, a graveyard, a cremation ground, a temple and many plants were washed away by the river.

The erosion-affected villages include Brahmangram, Arkandi, Baikhola, Ghatabari, Veka, Jalalpur, Chilapara and Hat Pachil, Ghatabari, Kuthipara and Pakurtala.

Local people said fear of river erosion has now gripped them more than coronavirus.

They said erosion causes havoc during monsoon each year in absence of any sustainable solution to the problem.

For the last four years they have been demanding construction of an embankment but yet to get any solution, they added.

Shahjadpur Upazila Nirbahi Officer Shah Md Shamsuzzoha said: “The Water Development Board has been informed about the sudden river erosion. Besides, the families affected by the erosion are being listed for the distribution of relief items among them. Meanwhile, they are initially being rehabilitated to government-owned land.”

AKM Rafiqul Islam, sub-divisional engineer of the Sirajganj Water Development Board, said a project worth around Tk700 crore is in the pipeline to prevent the river banks erosion in Shahjadpur upazila. The projects work include river banks protection dam construction, char dredging in 8.5km area from Brahmangram to Hatpachil, he said.

The project work will start as soon as it gets approval, said the engineer adding that necessary steps are now being taken to tackle the present erosion situation.

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