Majhgram canal grabbing is going on randomly although once it played a vital role in the lives of the people of Kalikapur area in the town.
At present, a group of local influential people have built multi-storied buildings grabbing five km of the seven-km-long canal while others are trying to build more structures there.
Many built cross closures on the canal that totally stopped natural water flow.
Meanwhile, the area is being polluted too as the nearby residents dump household wastes into the closed canal, said local people.
Local influential person named Md Forkan Talukder built a three-storied building in the middle of the canal.
During a recent visit to the area, this correspondent found that a section of local influential people are building some structures by occupying the canal in front of the Baitun Nayeem mosque.
Local resident Golam Mostafa Kamal filled up a portion of the canal in front of his house by setting up bamboo fence.
“I am the original claimant of the portion of the canal as it is front side of my land that I bought about 15 years ago,” he said.
Forkan Talukder said he built the building on his own land, not grabbing the canal.
He declined to make more comments over the matter.
Abdul Goffar, neighbour of Talukder, said 25 years ago, large country boats and trawlers ran through the canal as it linked with the Lawkathi river to Halatia canal. Local farmers cultivated their land by using its water but the canal has been occupied by the local grabbers.
SM Motin Mahmud alias Jahid, councillor of Patuakhali municipality, said like Majhgram canal, at least 25 canals in the municipality area faces serious grabbing.
Many big canals turned into drains as local residents built structures by grabbing them.
Md Eunus Mia, surveyor of the municipality, said local people are building structures occupying some canals but they will take step after preparing a list of grabbers.
Despite repeated calls, this correspondent could not reach municipality Mayor Shafiqul Islam as he didn't receive the phone.
Md Hasanuzzaman, executive engineer of Water Development Board, said they have already prepared a list of 22 canals in the municipality. They will take steps to re-excavate them to ensure water flow.