WDB yet to start Padma dredging in Shariatpur

Prothom Alo English Desk | Update:

Mulfatganj Bazar of Shariatpur‘s Naria disappearing due to violent erosion of Padma river in recent weeks. The photo has been taken on 12 September, 2018 by Sajid HossainTwo days have been passed since a dredger reached the affected areas of river erosion in Naria upazila of Shariatpur but the local Water Development Board (WDB) was yet to begin dredging the Padma river on Tuesday due to strong currents, reports UNB.

Additional chief engineer of Water Development Board AKM Wahid Uddin Chowdhury said they could not start the dredging as the currents were very strong for past two days, once the currents subside they would start their work.

One dredger has been brought to Naria on Sunday and two others will also be taken there very soon, he added.

Meanwhile, one of the locals of Kedarpur union, Mojibur Rahman, expressed fear of losing his properties if the authorities fail to start the dredging soon.

“The Dredger has come finally, but it should have brought here a year earlier”, he said.

Secretary of shipping ministry, Abdus Samad and Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) chairman, M Mozammel Haque who visited the affected areas in the morning said BIWTA, Water Development Board, water recourses ministry and shipping ministry were jointly working to prevent the erosion of Padma.

To prevent river erosion permanently a riverbank protection project was approved in a cabinet meeting, they said.

The intensity of currents of the river was not decreasing as a flood occurred in India and Tibet, they said and asked the residents for keeping patience.

A resident of Kedarpur, Yunus Kotari said 40 percent of his land with three houses and different types of trees went under water in one week.

Noor Hossain Dewan, 70, another victim of river erosion said they had 100 acres of land and also had two-story building, all of which were engulfed by the Padma.

Disaster management and relief minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya on Tuesday declared that 30 kgs of rice will be provided to each of the affected people, who have lost their homes and lands in the mighty river Padma for the next four months.

He also asked the local authorities to ensure fair disbursement of relief materials among the affected families who have lost their homes and lands in the river.

Government has allocated Tk 20 million, five thousand bundles of tin and 4,000 packets of dry foods for the homeless people, said the minister.

Maya also distributed one kg each of salt, pulse, sugar, flattened rice, one liter of oil and some dry foods among the affected people at Naria upazila Parishad Shaheed Minar premises in the upazila in the afternoon.

In past few weeks, some 6,000 families have been rendered homeless in a period of short time as erosion took a serious turn in Naria upazila.

The homesteads and crops land of Mulfatganj, Kedarpur, Naria municipality areas of the upazila were devoured by the mighty river Padma.

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