Harirampur protection embankment in the district is under threat of erosion by the Padma river as some of its parts have already been washed away.
A number of homesteads and vast tracts of cropland in Ramkrishnapur, Gopinathpur and Kanchanpur unions of Harirampur upazila have already gone into the river, said villagers.
Visiting the areas, this correspondent found the 8.8 km-long embankment damaged at many points in Andharmanik, Bakchar and Ramkrishnapur villages.
Local people urged the authorities concerned to take immediate steps to repair the damaged parts of the embankment to save the unions from the erosion.
Freedom fighter Kamal Hossain, chairman of Ramkrishnapur Union Parishad, said a large portion of the embankment was damaged due to the erosion.
At least 156 homesteads and vast tracts of cropland have already gone into the river, he said, adding that the major cause of erosion by the river is illegal sand lifting.
“At the monthly upazila coordination meeting on May 9, I urged the members to take immediate steps to stop the illegal sand extraction from the river,” he said.
Chairman of Gopinathpur Union Parishad Abdul Kuddus said more than 200 houses and 100 shops at Gopinathpur Bazar were eroded by the river last year.
Manikganj Water Development Board (WDB) constructed the embankment at a cost of Tk 117 crore in 2015-16 fiscal year, said sources at WDB office.
Manikganj WDB Executive Engineer Mahbube Mowla Md Mehedy Hasan said the embankment was damaged at several points, including Andharmanik, due to strong current and illegal sand extraction from the river.
They have already written to the higher authorities for fund to repair the embankment but to no respond yet, said Mehedy.
Chairman of the upazila parishad Dewan Saidur Rahman said he urged the upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) to stop illegal sand extraction from the river.
UNO Elias Mehedi said strict action will be taken against illegal sand lifting immediately.