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The South Asian Times | সাউথ এশিয়ান টাইমস

Erosion of the river Teesta rendered 250 homestead in Gangachara Upazila

Published: 07:55, 26 June 2024

Erosion of the river Teesta rendered 250 homestead in Gangachara Upazila

Abdus Sahed, Rangpur
Due to continuous rains for several days, Teesta water flowed 55 cm above the water line at Kaunia Point in Rangpur. However, at six in the evening on Sunday, the water decreased slightly and flowed below 35 cm of the flood line. The water level of Teesta river has started decreasing since two days ago. As a result, the river banks and settlements are breaking again. The people of the bothside of the teesta banks are worried.
Meanwhile, as the water recedes, erosion is intensifying in the Teesta river bank areas of Kaunia, Gangachra and Pirgacha upazilas. Some are throwing sandbags at their own expense to prevent erosion. All the members of the family came together to protect their home. They are trying with whatever they can afford. Many people are moving their homes elsewhere.
In Gadai area of Balapara Union, the houses of hundreds of families can be seen on the banks of the river. The people of these houses are in a dilemma about where to move their houses. The victims of erosion complain that the Water Development Board has not taken any effective steps to prevent erosion during the monsoon season, and they have yet to see any initiative. The helpless victims have demanded the government to build a dam to protect the river along with the implementation of the Teesta Master Plan.
Nazrul Bhandari of Gadai area said that he has been a victim of river erosion several times before. If it breaks now, he will have nothing to live with. Forced to take place on the barrier or elsewhere.
Mozaffar Ali told about such helplessness and said that  did not want to leave the house and go to another place because it is grandfather's land. Even if the river breaks every year at that time, we are still there. 
About 70 percent of farmer Ansar Ali's arable land was lost to the river in one year. Now there are settlements on only five centuries of land. His family runs by working here and there. This fifty-year-old farmer said, "If the houses go to the river, there will be no more land.
A month ago, two thousand sandbags were thrown at 180 meters in Gadai area due to river erosion to prevent river erosion. Most of the sacks were swept away by the current. As Abdul Malek tin shed house and other four houses there are under demolition, he is thinking of moving to another place. Abdul Malek told SAT that there is no place to move to another place after breaking the house. Someone needs to rent land. There is no money in hand. That thought does not sleep.
According to Balapara Union Parishad sources, about 400 families live in Gadai village, three kilometers from the upazila headquarters. Among them, the houses of hundreds of families have been destroyed.
Meanwhile, apart from Gadai, water receded in lower areas of villages of Dhushmara, taluk Shahbaz, Gadai, part of East Nijpara, Gopidanga, Araji Harishwar, Char Prannath, Shanshania, Char Haibatkhan, Azamkhan Char of Teesta banks in Kaunia. In these areas, Aman paddy seedbeds, raised almond fields have been submerged in water, along with about half a hundred ponds and fish farms have been washed away. In the meantime, if the water rises more, it is believed that floods may occur in new areas. As a result, the farmers of these grazing areas are worried.
Chairman of Balapara Union Parishad Anshar Ali said that Teesta is not in the same place as before. The bottom of the Teesta has been raised by about a foot due to the silt from the last year's upstream. As a result, when the water in the river rises, this water immediately enters the low-lying area of the south bank and starts breaking.
He also said that this water has started decreasing now due to no rain since last three days. Although the water has receded, erosion has started in several places in the Gadai area of Kaunia on the south bank of the Teesta. A small road connecting this area is also broken. We are trying to prevent the breach locally as well as continuing to communicate with the Water Development Board.
Farmer Faizur Rahman of Matha village of Shivdev Boulder in Chaola Union of Pirgacha Upazila said that the river erosion has intensified with the decrease of water. The river has come a long way in the past few days. Many have moved their houses to safer places due to the fear of erosion. He also said that the farmers of this area have been severely affected by this sudden flood because they could not pick almonds from pastures.
Meanwhile, the river water flowed 50 cm above the flood limit on Friday (June 21) in the Teesta Bridge area of Kaunia. At 6 pm on Sunday, Rangpur Water Development Board (PUBO) said that water is flowing 35 cm below the water line in the Teesta Bridge area. This water will decrease further. However, if there is no heavy rainfall and upstream hill slopes, the Teesta water will decrease a lot within two days.
Ahsan Habib, Supervising Engineer of Water Development Board Rangpur office, said that there is a risk of erosion even if the water level decreases. Eroded areas were visited. One thousand sandbags were dumped a month ago. Efforts are being made to prevent erosion.