Erosion by the Teesta River has taken a serious turn in Kurigram district with the recession of floodwater, displacing many families and devouring vast tracts of cropland.
The river has been eroding its banks for the last three months and the erosion has intensified recently in Rajarhat upazila of the district.
In Khitab Khan village alone, homes of 30 families including those of Ismail Hossain, Rasul, Mostak, Kadimal, Hasen Ali, Yusuf, Dulal, Abdur Rahim, Balo, Kacho Mamud Momin and Harun went into the gorge of the river. The figure will 50 including the number of families in four other villages.
The Teesta river is devouring hundreds of acres of cropland and trees in Khitabkhan, Gatiasham villages of Gharialdanga union and Chatura, Ramhari and Kalirhat villages of Bidyananda union, said locals.
Many of them have been living under the open sky.
Meanwhile, thousands of houses in five villages of Bidyananda and Gharialdanga unions of the upazila, Kalirhat Bazar, Burirhat Bazar, Kalirhat Government Primary School, KhitabKhan Government Primary School, Char Khitabkhan Government Primary School, Gatiasham Community Clinic and four mosques, two temples, various structures and hundreds of acres of cropland are facing erosion threat.
Abdus Sattar, 80, who lost home due to river erosion in Khitab Khan village, said, "We do not expect relief, we demand the government to implement the Teesta Master Plan to stop the erosion by the river."
Local UP member Mamun Mandal said, "Implementing the Teesta Master Plan to prevent erosion is the demand of thousands of people in this area. He said the education of 300 to 400 students of KhitabKhan Government Primary School will be uncertain if it is washed away by the river.”
Abdullah Al Mamun, executive engineer of Kurigram Water Development Board, said the work of dumping sand bags is going on at some places of Gharialdanga and Bidyananda unions to prevent erosion.