The Ghaghot river, flowing through Rangpur region, has dried up with the beginning of dry season.
Lack of excavation or dredging has contributed to worsening the situation that has put irrigation and fish production at stake, sources alleged.
Presently, the river has become almost dead. Scores of shoals have emerged on the bed of the river due to lack of water since long. Many makeshift houses have been constructed and different kinds of crops are being cultivated on the riverbed in this way the river has lost its splendid past.
Some elderly people living beside the river Ghaghot said that even once a good number big sized boats with goods used to ply in the river. But this scenario is changed now. Presently the mainstream of the river cannot be seen anywhere except a narrow water line visible only in some places.
While visiting some areas along the river including Nishbetganj area in Rangpur Sadar this FE correspondent found it is all sand on the bed of the river as far as the eyes could see.
The river hardly remains navigable except in the monsoon. On the average it remains non-navigable for six to seven months during the year. Bullock carts are moving and children are playing cricket and football on the dried up riverbeds.
Expressing disappointment Hakim Mia (55), a fisherman who lives near the river at Nishbetganj area in Rangpur Sadar upazila said hundreds of fishermen who used to earn their livelihood by fishing in the river are leading a miserable life due to scarcity of water as well as fish in the river.
Many fishermen have also switched to other professions leaving their ancestral profession as they are no longer finding fish to earn their livelihood, he added.
The underground water levels have been receding fast endangering irrigation in the northern region of the country. A good number of farmers said water levels of the major rivers, including the Ghaghot, might fall further creating devastating environment during the coming dry season, sources said.
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