Faidpur’s Padma and Madhumati rivers are swallowing farmlands and houses, leaving hundreds of villagers in panic.
The erosion of the river banks has been going on in Alfadanga Upazila over the last 15 days, putting the district’s largest housing project, named Swapnanagar at risk, reports bdnews24.com.
The homeless people in the region had received houses under the government’s Ashrayan project. But they are now afraid of losing their houses again to the mighty Madhumati River, according to villagers.
“River erosion is a long-standing problem in the area. We had discussed the matter with top government officials and received commitments from them. But no project was implemented in the area. The Swapnanagar project is at risk now as well,” Alfadanga Union Council Chairman AKM Jahid Hossain said.
The Madhumati has devoured farmlands, roads and several houses this month. “We want a permanent solution to the crisis,” Gopalpur Union Council Chairman Enamul Hasan said.
Meanwhile, the erosion intensified as banks of the Padma River continued to erode in Dangi village in Sadar Upazila’s North Channel.
At least 40 families in the village have lost their homes to the river in the past week. The river also washed away several acres of farmlands. Almost a 1-kilometre area along the river banks was affected. Several structures are at risk right now, according to the locals.
Abzal Hossain, a farmer affected by the erosion, said he lost four houses to the Padma. Sabina Parvin, a housewife, said she lost her three homes to the destructive river. Another victim, Shaheda Begum, has moved her house to another place due to erosion.
The district authorities have visited the area after being informed of the situation, North Channel Union Council Chairman Md Mustakuzzaman said. “A list of victims has been submitted to them.”
The Bangladesh Water Development Board has been instructed to take measures to stop the erosion, Faridpur’s additional district official Bipul Chandra Das said.
“The erosion has been happening on an outer part of the Faridpur city protection embankment. We are observing the situation. We are on the alert to protect schools, madrasa and community clinics. Emergency measures will be taken if necessary,” BWDB’s Executive Engineer Partha Pratim Saha said.