The Teesta River in Kurigram district has turned turbulent amid recession of its water level, devouring over 50 houses in just one week.
Locals said some 9.58 lakh flood-affected people in the vicinities of 16 rivers, including Brahmaputra, Teesta, Dhorla and Dudhkumar of Kurigram, are facing immense sufferings due to floods and the subsequent recession of water over the last three weeks.Officials at the Water Development Board (WDB) said the erosion by the river has worsened following the recession of floodwater.
Bidyananda union in Rajarhat upazila, 20 kilometres off the district town, was said to be the worst-affected one as its two-third area have gone into the gorge of the river in the last three-four years.
The erosion could not be stopped even though the WDB dumped GO bags for the past one and a half months.
Locals said many erosion-affected people are passing their days in inhuman condition under the open sky.
Allegations are there that the day-loburers hired by the WDB were filling GO bags by cutting the river-protection embankment, disrupting the movement of all modes of vehicle.
After visiting the erosion-affected Chotura and Kalirhat areas, the UNB correspondent found more houses stand threatened, leaving their residents in utter frustration.Sohagi, an 85-year-old woman of Kalirhat area, said, “Teesta snatched all my happiness and it all happened after the death of my husband.”
Her daughter in-law Purnima Chandra Roy, said, “The river has taken away all their belongings, including the homestead.”
“We’re now living under the open sky as we’ve nowhere to go,” she said adding, “I’m in extreme sufferings with my son and daughter. My son is an HSC student while the daughter is studying in class six. I really don’t know what to do now.”
Narayan Chandra Barman, 63, said, “We’ve now turned paupers as our houses have been devoured for 20 times by the river. We urge the government to provide us with a shelter.”
Ahmad Ali, now living on Chotural Hongshodhor embankment, said he was forced to spend sleepless nights for many days as river water poured into their house. “The house may vanish into the river anytime,” a worried Ali said.
“About three and a half kilometre areas, including Bidyananda Bazar, Tayub Kha, Dangra, Daburhalan, Daria, Hongshodhor and Kalirbhita, are now under the onslaught of the river,” Ali added.
Meanwhile, the houses of many, including Montaj Ali, Amjad Ali, Hafizur Rahman, Ali Mondol, Momtaj, Aijul and Jamir Hossain went into the river in last one week.
Jayanti Rani, a woman living in the area, said, “A homestead can be saved even when fire breaks out, but nothing can be saved when a river erodes it away.”
Taijul Islam, chairman of Bidyananda Union, said, “The labourers engaged by the WDB are filling GO bags by damaging the embankment.”
He said, “In last one decade, one-fourth area of my locality was devoured by the river. The river erosion here couldn’t be checked even after dumping GO bags.”
Contacted, deputy sub-divisional engineer of Kurigram WDB Rafiqul Islam said, “Our people are dumping GO bags to check the erosion in Kalirhat area. We’re working after bringing sand from char areas by boats.”
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner of the district Sultana Parveen said, “The government is working for the rehabilitation of the erosion-hit people. We’ll take a sustainable project after conducting a feasibility study.”