A section of influential shrimp enclosure owners has grabbed almost all the roads and canals in Baharbunia union of Morrelganj upazila to bring saline water to their enclosures.
They brought in saline water from concrete pipes laid in the canals. They also put some wooden boxes there to control the water flow, said local people.
The wooden structures often obstructed water flow in the canals, flooding the nearby areas, they said.
Fishing is the main source of income for the people in the area. Most people of the union are engaged in the shrimp business.
Upazila parishad office sources said there are 800 shrimp enclosures, 31 government canals, 20 km of earthen roads and 11 km of brick made roads in the union. Of them, 30 canals have already been grabbed by the shrimp enclosure owners.
The canals include Nader Ali Khal of Hindu Para in Purba Baharbunia, Jabbar Ali Khal of College market area and Kata Khal of Siraj Master’s market in the union.
The roads lie in between the canals and enclosures. The shrimp enclosure owners are also cutting the roads to bring saline water from the canals.
The owners continued grabbing the canals and roads, but nobody dared to protest against them as they are very powerful, said locals.
The same situation prevails in Jewdhara and Panchakaron unions, they said, adding that many canals are no more in existence.
Baharbunia UP Chairman Ripon Talukder, also the owner of few shrimp enclosures, grabbed Miar Khal and Jabbar Ali Khal, said locals.
The chairman said water flow in the 31 canals is not obstructed and if it happens, local people would have been affected.
Upazila Nirbahi Officer Md Quamruzzaman said action will be taken against cutting of roads immediately.
Additional Deputy Commissioner (General) and Deputy Director of Local Government Md Zahirul Islam said they will take immediate steps against the canal grabbers.