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River erosion renders 7,000 homeless

  • Published at 11:29 pm November 20th, 2016
River erosion renders 7,000 homeless

The erosion caused by the river has been taking place over 36 years in different villages in Tarabunia union of the upazila.

Locals alleged that thousands of acres of land, homesteads, schools, colleges, madrasas, mosques and temples succumbed to the river and 7,000 people have become landless.

They also alleged that they organised several programmes demanding to save the land from eroding into the river but the authorities did not pay any heed.

Power lines, croplands and homesteads face an ever-looming threat.

Locals demanded the authorities take action immediately.

Rabiul Islam of Ranakharia village said: “We have already lost 20 villages to the river. If this goes, all will be lost.”

A vast area including croplands, homesteads, educational institutions and a 300-metre stretch of the Kushtia-Ishwardi Road was consumed by the river very recently, he added.

Students from several schools also urged the government to build an embankment to protect the area.

Khaleduzzaman, head teacher of Shamukhia-Ranadia Govt Primary School, said: “More than 1500 students are studying at this school. If the government does not act soon, the institution may disappear any day into the river.”

He pleaded to the authorities to save the school.

Farmer Amirul said he had lost everything including 12 hectares of farmland.

Abdul Hannan, chairman of Talbania union council, said he had lost more than 10,000 voters in the last 36 years because of land erosion.

Thousands of people became homeless as the river swallowed up their houses and lands.

“The erosion reaches dangerous levels when the river starts to subside. Dredging and sand lifting also contributes to the erosion,” said Chairman Hannan.

When contacted, UNO Mahbubur Rahman said he had inspected the area.

“About 3 square kilometres of land will disappear if we do not act immediately.”

Zahidul Islam, executive engineer of Water Development Board, said: “We need a project of Tk150crore to protect the area from the clutches of the river.”