Erosion threatens Tagore's Kuthibari in Kushtia
Historic Kuthibari of Poet Rabindranath Tagore at Shilaidaha in Kumarkhali faces serious threat from the Padma as the river is flowing only 500 meters away.
Kuthibari is likely to be devoured by the river soon, if preventive measures are not taken immediately, experts and locals said.
Padma has started to devour areas from Mohanagartek of Haripur union. Construction of Lalon Shah Bridge at Bheramara over the river has aggravated the situation in the area, they said.
Once the mighty river flowed around Pabna district, but it is now flowing through Kushtia. The erosion between Mohanagartek and Belkaloya has changed the course of the Padma by seven kilometres, devouring hundreds of houses, trees, mosques and other establishments in villages.
Erosion by the river took a serious turn recently following rainfalls in the area a few days ago.
Speakers at a function at Kuthibari marking the birth anniversary of Tagore on Monday urged the government to protect the historic site from erosion.
They expressed the fear that the erosion would worsen further with the rise in water level in the Padma during the monsoon.
People are dismantling their houses and leaving for safer areas, they said.
Experts think that the erosion by Padma and the Gorai rivers would one day devour Haripur union completely and Kaya union partially.
Water Development Board Executive Engineer in Kushtia M Abdus Sattar said it would require Tk. 150 crore to protect the entire area, including the Kuthibari.
The government can arrange the money from its own fund without any foreign aid, he observed.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, at a function on Tagore's birth anniversary in the capital on Saturday, said a university would be set up near the Kuthibari.
Locals said before setting up the university, the government should first take necessary measures to save Kuthibari and adjoining area from erosion.