The recently built embankment on the Ramnabad River at Charipara village in Kalapara upazila under Patuakhali district gets eroded under the impact of tidal surges that occur frequently in the area near the Bay, thanks to the indifference of the authorities concerned who did not care about reinforcing the dyke with concrete blocks. PHOTO: STAR
A newly built earthen embankment at Charipara in Kalapara upazila under the district is getting damaged due to tidal surge while Water Development Board (WDB) cancelled thez order for protection work of another dyke at Mirabari in Kuakata area due to use of low quality materials.
A portion the embankment (47/5 polders) at Charipara on the Ramnabad River collapsed six years ago and consequently, local people could not grow any crop as salinity affected the agricultural lands, said sources at Kalapara WDB office.
WDB recently built a one kilometre long alternative dyke at a cost of Tk about 45 lakh.
The contractor concerned started the work a month ago and completed it last week but a portion of the newly built embankment is getting damaged due to pressure of tidal surge.
During a recent visit to the area, this correspondent saw that hit by tidal waves was causing erosion of the dyke as it is without any protective measure like reinforcement by concrete blocks on the slope.
The dyke is getting damaged and it may totally collapse during the rainy season as there were irregularities in the work, said Mir Tariquzzaman Tara, chairman of local union parishad.
Reaz Uddin Mridha, contractor of the work also president of Patuakhali district bus owners association, said, "I have done only the earth work as per schedule. But tidal surge from the Ramnabad River continuously hits the dyke, posing threat to it. Protection work like setting of concrete blocks is needed for its sustenance."
Abul Bashar, sub-divisional engineer of WDB in Kalapara office, said, "Tidal surge puts the just completed dyke under risk. We will see the matter."
Meanwhile, WDB cancelled work order for protection of another dyke at Mirabari, one km to the west of Kuakata Zero Point, and forfeited security money of the construction firm on charge of using low quality materials in the work.
WDB office sources said, WDB started dyke protecting work from
2009-2010 fiscal year to save the dyke from tidal surge of the Bay and its fourth phase work is running at a cost of Tk about one crore.
As there was huge irregularities including use of low quality materials, Kalapara WDB office cancelled the work order and forfeited security money about Tk 10 lakh of the contractor, said Md Shahidul Islam, assistant engineer of WDB.
Fresh tender will be called to complete the work, he added.