Around 30,000 people of 13 villages under Kalapara upazila are facing acute crisis of pure drinking water as at least 50 tube wells, which went under saline water during tidal surges in June and July this year, still remain inoperative.
Saline water entered the villages under Lalua union of the upazila as flood control dyke at Charipara point collapsed during high tide under the impact of full moon in the first week of June.
The worst affected villages were Charipara, Nayakata, Chowdhurypara, Nowapara, munshipara, Pasuribunia, Chotopachnon and Baropachnon.
Serjon ALi, 55, of Charipara village said they have to collect drinking water from a village about two kilometres away as all tube-wells at their village do not give fresh water since June tidal surge.
Saline water from nearby Ramnabad River enter the villages through the breached portion of the dyke and many villagers have to drink the unsafe water from ponds and ditches, he added.
While visiting the union recently, this correspondent found some villagers collecting drinking water from tube-wells in the adjacent union as water in the ponds in flood-hit Lalua union has become salty.
Tariquzzaman Tara, chairman for Lalua Union Parishad, said people of 13 villages in his union are sufferings a lot as the tube-wells at the villages have remained inoperative for at least two months.
We requested the local officials of Public Health Engineering department several times to make the tube-wells functional, but to no effect, the UP chairman alleged.
Contacted, Md Sohel Rana, Kalapara upazila engineer of Public Health Engineering department, said the tube-wells at the villages have become dysfunctional as saline water entered into those during recent tidal surges.
“We will visit the affected areas soon and take necessary steps to make the tube-wells functional,” the engineer said.