The river has almost dried up and is gradually turning into a dead one following the deposit of silt and lack of dredging for long, leading to a water crisis.
As a result, farmers could not irrigate their land in this Boro season.
Under such circumstances, farmers demanded that at least 13-km of the river from Gouripur to Eliatganj Bridge be dredged on an urgent basis to revive the river and ensure proper irrigation of the arable land.
The river originates from the Gomti river in Gouripur.
Farmers of Gouripur, Jhinglatali, Eliatganj Uttar and Eliatganj Dakkhin, Raipur, Baniapara, Chandra, Adampur, Bitman, Tamta, Singula, Bittola and Noyakandi unions in Daudkandi upazila, Babutipara union in Muradnagar upazila, Suhilpur, Bataghashi union of Chandina upazila and different areas, including Sachar of Kachua upazila in Chandpur district, are dependent on the river for the irrigation of their Boro field.
Jamal Uddin, a farmer of Singula village, said they are dependent on the river for irrigation and other household works and these are being hampered greatly as the river has dried up.
Fishermen who eke out an existence catching fish in the river have also been rendered with no work due to lack water flow in the river, he said, calling for immediate steps to dredge the river.
Another farmer, Matin Sarker, said once many species of fish were found in the river. Following deposit of silt in the river and no dredging work, now there is no water flow and thus no fish.
He also said they staged protests several times demanding that the river be dredged. But no initiative has been taken to this end.
Md Sarwar Jaman, upazila agriculture officer of Daudkandi, said the land on both sides of the river is known as a granary. “If there’s adequate water during the Boro season, the production would double. It’s now urgently needed to carry out dredging work in the river to ensure smooth Boro production.”
Md Abdul Latif, executive engineer of Water Development Board in Cumilla, said there is a plan for dredging the river. “The problem will be resolved soon.”