Patuakhali town got flooded yesterday as tidal water entered the town, overflowing the protection dyke at Katpatty and Puran Bazar points and through the breached portions of the dyke and sluice gates in other areas at noon.
The flood-hit areas include Katpattii, Puran Bazar, Nawabpara, Chawkbazar, Muslim Para,, Shimulbagh, Natunbazar, Charpara, Girls' School Road, Women's College Road, SDO Road, Govt Jubilee School Road, Thanapara, New Market, Munsefpara, Latif School Road, and Sabujbagh.
Flood water submerged the roads, shops and dwelling houses in the areas, causing immense sufferings to the townspeople. Water entered the town from Lohalia River to the east and Lawkathi River to the north during high tide.
Many areas in the district town gets flooded during high tide under the impact of full moon and new moon as sluice gates and regulators don't work properly and cracks have appeared at different points of the flood control dyke.
Water Development Board (WDB) had completed the construction of Tk 24.52 crore dyke in June last year to protect the town from tidal surges. It has six sluice gates, nine culverts and 17 outlets.
The 12 feet high dyke was supposed to have been 12 feet wide, but the contractors did not follow the rules at Puran Bazar and Katpatty points and built the dyke with only 2 to 6 feet wide, and, as a result, the dyke developed cracks.
Locals have blamed the WDB officials for massive irregularities in construction of the protection dyke in Katpatty and Puran Bazar areas.
During high tide at around 12:30pm yesterday, this correspondent saw water from Lohalia River entering the town, overflowing the dyke and through its breached portions in Katpatty and Puran Bazar points. Some concrete blocks have been displaced there due to pressure of tidal water.
Jahangir Sikder, a resident of Puran Bazar area, said townspeople are not getting benefit of the protection dyke as it has developed cracks. Water enters the town through sluice gates and regulators as these are not working properly.
“We lodged complaints to the authorities concerned several times, but to effect,” he said. Patuakhali municipality Mayor Md Shafiqul Islam also alleged irregularities in construction of the dyke.
A source in WDB said cracks have appeared at many points of the town protection dyke and the officials, who were in Patuakhali during its construction, have already transferred to other places.
Md Shafi Uddin, acting executive engineer of WDB, said tidal water enters the town as sluice gates of the dyke are not working properly. Necessary steps are being taken to solve the problems, he added.