Serious river erosion at the onset of the monsoon brings woe to people living on the bank of the Jamuna and Brahmaputra rivers in Tangail and Kurigram districts.
Erosion by the Jamuna has turned serious, devouring dwelling houses, other structures as well as croplands in Nagarpur, Kalihati and Bhuapur upazilas in Tangail, reports our correspondent.
At least 50 dwellings, a primary school and vast tracts of croplands were devoured by the river during the last few days.
The worst affected areas are Solimabad union in Nagarpur, Gohaliabari union in Kalihati and Govindasi union in Bhuapur.
Many houses, educational and religious institutions, markets and other structures are facing erosion threat, said locals and public representatives.
The building of Paisha Maijhail Government Primary School at Solimabad in Nagarpur was destroyed by the strong current of the river on Sunday, said Azizul Haque Babu of the area.
The people in the riverside area are passing sleepless nights fearing erosion and many of them stared shifting their houses to other places.
Syed Faijul Islam, upazila nirbahi officer in Nagarpur, along with others visited the area on Sunday and told the affected people to take shelter at nearby Janata Degree College.
The river erosion is affecting localities near the east end of the Bangabandhu Bridge at Alipur village under Gohaliabari union in Kalihati and Khanurbari, Kostapara, Bhalkutia and Chituliapara Govindasi in Bhuapur for the last few weeks.
Contacted, Md Sirajul Islam, executive engineer of Water Development Board in Tangail, said they have already done some emergency works at Govindasi in Bhuapur to save a local primary school and are making preparations to dump GEO bags at Alipur in Kalihati to save a local school and a madrasa.
"It is hardly possible to check the erosion by the mighty Jamuna river with
emergency works. We have sent project proposals for permanent works to the higher authorities and waiting for their approval," he added.
Our Lalmonirhat Correspondent reports: At least 47 families have become homeless as their homesteads were devoured by the Brahmaputra at Dhanarchar Nutangram village of Jadurchar union under Roumari upazila in Kurigram in the last two weeks.
Many villagers are shifting their houses to safe places as the river continued eroding homesteads and arable lands.
Public representatives and Water Development Board (WDB) officials visited the erosion-hit area but no step is yet to be taken for checking the erosion, locals said.
"I with six family members took shelter in a relative's house as my house and three bighas of arable lands have gone into the Brahmaputra River. I have lost everything. I don't know how I will manage our livelihood," said Khadem Ali, a farmer of the village.
Jaynob Bewa of the village is also staying at a relative's house, having lost her homestead on seven decimals of land and one bigha of arable land to the Brahmaputra.
"Illegal extraction of sand from the river with dredger is the main reason behind the serious erosion that made us homeless. We made protest against illegal sand lifting but didn't get any result as politically influential musclemen were involved in the act," she said.
Mati Miah, another erosion-hit farmer of the village, said he lost five bighas of arable lands in the last ten days while at least 250 bighas of arable land have already been eroded.
"Some people illegally lift sand from the river during dry season, which later causes erosion of nearby homesteads and arable lands. Local MP, upazila chairman, union chairman and WDB engineers visited our village but we do not see any step for checking the erosion," he said.
WDB Executive Engineer in Kurigram Ariful Islam told The Daily Star, "We are preparing to take primary steps for checking the erosion by the Brahmaputra. Local administration has to take action against illegal sand extraction from rivers, which is the cause of the erosion."