Croplands under water as canal blocked for fish cultivation | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 22, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 22, 2020

Croplands under water as canal blocked for fish cultivation

Farmers worried as Boro cultivation on 1500 bighas hampered

Boro cultivation on around 1500 bighas of land is hampered due to overflowing of Majdia beel (waterbody) as a consequence of building an embankment at the mouth of Sonalidanga canal in Kaliganj upazila of Jhenidah.  

The 1440-bigha beel touching Badurgachha, Mahishhati, Badedehi, Majdia and Sonalidanga villages is under Barobazar 9 No union in Kaliganj.

Locals said Barobazar union parishad (UP) chairman Abul Kalam Azad, and his brothers, who are cultivating fish at Majdia beel for several years, built embankment at the mouth of Sonalidanga canal in March last year, impeding flowing down of water from the beel through the canal.

Consequently, overflowing of the waterbody keeps 1500 bighas of cultivable land in the area inundated.

Villagers dare not protest as Abul Kalam Azad, also secretary of union unit of Awami League, is an influential man.

“I grow crops on my 28 bighas of land beside the waterbody. But this year I will not be able to cultivate Boro paddy there as all the land is under water due to building of the embankment at the mouth of Sonalidanga canal,” said a farmer of Majdia village, seeking anonymity.

The local administration should take immediate steps to remove the embankment so that hundreds of farmers of five villages can cultivate Boro paddy, he said.

A good number of farmers echoed the same.

“I took loan from a local NGO and had plans to repay it after selling the Boro paddy that I would grow on my three bighas of land beside the waterbody. Now I am worried as the land is under water,” said a farmer from Jaganathpur village.

UP chairman Abul Kalam Azad could not be reached for his version as nobody received his cell phone when this correspondent called several times. 

Demanding steps to remove the embankment to save them from losses, local farmers submitted a petition with hundreds of signatures to Jhenidah deputy commissioner (DC) on December 4 last year and the DC asked the upazila administration to see the matter.

Kaliganj Upazila Assistant Commissioner (Land) Bhupali Rani Sarkar said, “Following direction from the higher authority, I visited the spot and learnt that a case is pending with the court. And so, nothing can be done regarding the matter at this moment.”

Contacted, Kaliganj Upazila Nirbahi Officer Subarna Rani Shaha said she will take action if the stakeholders approach her.

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