The Padma devoured about 390 metres of the Rajbari town protection embankment at two places in the last couple of days, forcing dwellers in nearby areas to shift their homestead elsewhere.
Besides, thousands of people living in the area are passing days amid fear of losing their homesteads and croplands due to the erosion.
Locals said erosion first hit Godarbazar area, around 1.5 kilometres north of the town, in Sadar upazila on August 27 and washed away about 300 metres of the town protection embankment.
Another 90 metres of the riverbank protection embankment went into the river when erosion hit Sonakandor area under Mizanpur union in the upazila on September 9 while another 110-metre area is facing threat of being eroded anytime, they said.
Mojaher Mondal of Sonakandor village said, “Erosion hit my family two times before. I have been living here for the five years and I might have to shift my home again.”
Babul Sardar of the area said, “Before the erosion I owned 40 bighas of land but I am landless now.”
Rajbari Water Development Board (WDB) Sub-Assistant Engineer Hafizur Rahman said the WDB constructed the 2.24-kilometre embankment stretching from Godarbazar to Botla Sluice Gate in Sadar upazila at a cost of Tk 47 crore and 71 lakh in 2009.
Hafizur said they have been dumping geo bags in the affected areas and regularly visiting the other affected areas.
Rajbari WDB Executive Engineer Krishna Sarker said, “Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) recently dredged the riverbed to carry equipment to Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant.”
As a result, sand underneath the riverbank protection embankment got displaced and it might have triggered the fresh erosion, he added.