With water level dropping, erosion of the Pungli river in Kalihati has taken a serious turn at Hinnaipara Fatikjani, threatening Pungli Railway Bridge and the nearby under construction bridge on Dhaka-Tangail highway.
Pungli, a tributary of the Jamuna, already devoured about 150 metre areas at Hinnaipara Fatikjani, which is around 50 feet away from the railway bridge, said Elenga Municipality Mayor Shafi Khan.
A century-old graveyard went into the river within a few hours after the erosion began on October 14, he said while talking to this correspondent yesterday after visiting the spot.
Unplanned dredging and indiscriminate sand lifting in the area might be the reasons behind the erosion, he added.
If necessary steps were not taken immediately, the erosion might harm the bridges, the mayor said.
He informed Water Development Board (WDB), the local administration and the local lawmaker of the matter.
Local MP Hasan Imam Khan Sohel Hazari visited the spot on October 14 and assured the locals of dumping concrete blocks to stop the erosion, the mayor added.
Contacted, Shajahan Siraj, executive engineer of WDB in Tangail, said, "No dredging work was conducted in the river this year. The issue of sand lifting is supposed to be monitored by the local administration."
On August 20, train service between the capital and the northern and southwestern districts was suspended for 36 hours as soil under one of the approaches to the Pungli Railway Bridge was washed away by floodwater, said several traders at Pungli Bazar.
Abdur Rashid, executive engineer of Bangladesh Railway (Joydevpur), said on information of the erosion, he sent a railway team to see the matter.
"After visiting the area, the team told me that the erosion could not harm the railway bridge as it is happening far from the bridge," he said.
There was nothing to be worried about as the flow of water in the river was very low now and the erosion was taking place on the opposite side of the damaged approach road, he added.