Chance of flood in Rajshahi increases

Published : 01 Jul 2022 09:55 PM

Aftermath of the devastating flood caused by onrush of water from upstream in Sylhet and Habiganj, the water level of the river Padma at Rajshahi point is increasing continuously. With the increase of the water level, several hundreds of acres of land alongside the river Padma beside Rajshahi district have already been devoured and thousands of people living by building houses beside the river are extremely worried of losing their homesteads and properties by the devasting erosion of the river.

Water Development Board sources in Rajshahi informed the water level of the river Padma is fluctuating between 12.50 metre to 12.70 metre for the last one week. At 12-00 noon on Tuesday, the water level of the river Padma near Rajshahi point was 12.58 metre as against the danger mark at 18.50 metre. 

Accordingly, the water of the river is flowing now only 05.92 metre below the danger level. It is apprehended, the water of the river would reach near the danger level within a couples of days if water continues to increase this way.  

It is learnt, though no erosion alongside of the river Padma surrounding Rajshahi City is being noticed so far, people of Charghat, Bagha, Paba and Godagari living beside the river have turned worried of the river erosion. Even at the onset of the monsoon, the water of the river Padma is increasing abnormally by the onrush of water from across the border upstream. 

The Padma remained almost dead even couples of week ago but it has now turned turbulent with the sounds of waves of water. Water in the river is now full to the brim and people living amid the periphery of the river are now spending a sleepless night. By losing their paternal properties, houses and cultivable land in the river, these people are living a form of nomadic  life for nearly two-decades. 

These people evicted by the wrath of the river erosion complained Water Development Board never takes any measure to control and resist erosion at several points of the river embankment during the dry season. 

As a result, Padma is usually full in spate during the monsoon and people living beside the river become the victims of river erosion and their miles long cultivable land, homesteads, buildings and mosques, schools and other institutions are devoured by the rages flood and erosion. 

By losing lands and homesteads inside the river Padma, several thousands people have already been forced to leave the places and taking shelters elsewhere. 

According to sources,  with the on rush of water this year, lands, houses and properties of four villages of Yousufpur union and Charghat sadar upazila are under the grip of erosion. Moreover, Chakrajapur village under Bagha upazila is also being eroded by the raging water. However, Water Development Board sources informed the works of a  project amounting Tk 722 crore is continuing to resist erosion in the areas of Charghat and Bagha upazila and the works of the project is supposed to be completed during the next season. 

WDB sources informed, the estalishments at the left side of the river Padma at Charghat and Bagha upazilas turn vulnerable during every monsoon. As a result, a year-round project works continue in the areas to save the areas from being eroded by the turbulent waves of Padma. The project works worth Tk 722 crore 24 lakh 26 thousand work started from January-2020 and are expected to be completed by June-30, 2023.

Abdur Rashid, Assistant  Engineer of  WDB, Rajshahi, informed the water level in the river Padma has started to increase due to seasonal rainfall and onrush of water from upstream. However, the works of preventing erosion of the embankment are also continuing and there is nothing to be panicky in this connection. 

Meanwhile, due to a continuous increase of water level in the river Padma, people living beside the embankment under Paba and the Godagari upazilas have also turned panicky. Earlier, in 2016, breaches were formed in Rajshahi City Protection embankment. The breaches were, however, repaired by dumping sand bags on the areas. This breached parts of the embankment has not yet been repaired completely.  This year, the rainfall starts from the early Monsoon and the water in the river Padma is also increasing fast due to onrush of water from outside the border. As a result, people of the areas are apprehending an early flood and the erosion of the breached parts of the embankment again.

Shafiqul Islam Sheikh, Executive Engineer of WDB, Rajshahi, informed it is unlikely that the water level of the river Padma would cross the City Protection embankment and flood the city areas. 

He added, the WDB is continuously observing the flood situation and the overall increase of water in the rivers of the country. An increase in water level in all rivers of the country is usual during this time and there is no apprehension of widespread flood in Rajshahi region at present, he mentioned. 

He also informed 10,000 GO bags have been kept ready to tackle any emergency situation.