Water Development Board's (WDB) work to repair the breached portion of the embankment on the Nilphamari-Dinajpur main branch irrigation canal under Teesta Irrigation Project sees little progress in three days till yesterday.
Farmers are worried due to the situation as the onrush of water through the 50-foot breach on the canal embankment at Dangapara village of Itakhola union under Sadar upazila on Thursday morning inundated aman paddy on about 70 acres of land.
"A small damage appeared on the slope of the right embankment 15-20 days ago. As the WDB officials did not take immediate step for its repair, finally a major breach developed, damaging vast crop fields in the area," said Hafizur Rashid Monju, chairman of Itakhola union parishad.
Ananto Kumar Singha, sub assistant engineer of WDB Nilphamari division, said, "The 50-foot breach developed from a number of rat holes on the embankment. Sustainable repair work started on an emergency basis on Thursday."
Visiting the site on Saturday afternoon, this correspondent found 6-7 labourers working to set a pair of bamboo piling and some sandbags were kept nearby for throwing there to stop onrush of water.
Some trolleys had just started carrying earth from distant places while almost the entire breach was still open and at vulnerable stage.
Milon Ahmed, contractor of the work, said it was difficult to carry earth by trolleys as there was not enough space on the embankment to turn the vehicles and there was scarcity of earth during the rainy season.
If the work progresses at the present rate, it will take at least 10-12 days more to complete the task and the submerged crops would be destroyed by the time, locals said.
Keramot Ali, Sadar upazila agriculture officer, said the water flow should be stopped within 3-4 days to save the aman paddy on about 70 acres of inundated fields.