Narka Canal invites misery for people in 30 villages

Published : 09 Dec 2022 07:43 PM

Narka Canal, is located at Deopara Union of Ghatail Upazila in Tangail. Once, the canal was the blessing for the farmers of surrounding thirty villages of three unions of the upazila. Nevertheless, the canal has now become farmers’ misery as the canal has been encroached and filled up having no drainage system for the bill, resulting in permanent waterlogging. Local farmers have appealed to the Upazila Nirbahi Officer demanding the canal to be rescued from the encroachers and re-excavated.

Talking to the locals, it is known that the origin of Narka canal is originated from Jhenai River. The 7 km long canal passes through Goapcha, Dhanda, Kayaduri, Jowalbhanga, Kailain, Ando and Meghabils and joins the Bangsai River at Golabari area. This 40 feet wide canal was once used to transport goods by big boats. During the monsoon season, the rain water of about thirty villages of Deopara, Dhalapara and Digarh unions used to accumulate in Goapcha, Dhanda, Kayaduri, Jowalbhanga, Kalyan, Ando and Meghabils. And the water accumulated in these Beels was drained through Narkar Canal. As a result, the farmers of the area are not able to prepare the seed beds on time and plant Boro rice in due time. Along with this, the agriculture department is deprived of additional crops. But as the canal gets filled and encroached, even a little rain causes waterlogging. Due to which the canal has now become a curse instead of a blessing.

The canal was dug once about 30 years ago on government initiative. The canal has now turned into a narrow channel due to encroachment by the land owners along the canal. The landowners have also closed the mouth of the canal in many places. Some places have been filled with silt. The canal is now visible only three feet to five feet in places. As a result, waterlogging is created with little rain.

Visiting the Megha, Kalian, and Goapchabils of Deopara area of the upazila, it is observed that many people could not cultivate Aman due to waterlogging. There is still knee-deep water in the land for seeding. As a result, the Boro plantation will be hampered by the shortage of rice seedlings. Local farmers say this is became a typical picture for every year. Six months ago, three hundred farmers  applied through a letter to the local Upazila Nirbahi Officer demanding re-digging of the canal.

Salim Mia, a farmer of Kalyan village and Sobhan, a farmer of Narangail village said, "There is water in the land, we could not plant rice seeds. If we cannot spread the net, then the cultivation in the fair land will be closed. In the village of Baripara, Abdul Bacheder, the farmer as well as a hero freedom fighter said, "Now even if the canal marks are visible, it will not be seen even after a few days.

Abu Hanif Khan, a school teacher in Bagunta village, said, "Thousands of acres of land will remain uncultivated during the Boro season if seedbeds are not made." Beel land is fertile. One maund of paddy is made from one per cent of land. Due to the canal, the amount of uncultivated land is increasing day by day.

The farmers of the area said that since they could not prepare the land on time, it is not possible to cultivate Boro in about 200 bighas of Jowalbhanga Beel, 1200 bighas of Goapcha Beel, 500 bighas of Megha Beel, 250 bighas of Kayaduri Beel and 150 bighas of Ando Beel. Due to the lack of water drainage system, every year during the monsoon season, a few hundred acres of paddy land gets flooded due to waterlogging. Again, many farmers were forced to harvest half-ripe paddy.

Ruhul Amin Heplu, the Chairman of Deopara Union Parishad said that the lives of people from 30 villages of three unions are demanding digging of Narka Canal. I have raised the issue of digging the canal twice in the monthly coordination meeting of the Upazila Parishad. But no measures have been taken yet.

Dilshad Jahan, Upazila Agriculture Officer said, I am aware of farmers not being able to build seedbeds, paddy getting submerged in water and land remaining uncultivated. The need to dig the canal has already been informed to the local administration.

Munia Chowdhury, Upazila Nirbahi Officer said, I came to know about this through the complaints of local UP chairman and the farmers. Necessary directions have been given to the local UP Chairman regarding the digging of the canal.

Ahsanul Basar, Deputy Director of Tangail Agricultural Extension Department said, there are thousands of bighas of land next to Norka Canal. Many farmers are unable to plant Boro paddy on time without draining the water. The agriculture office said that if the canal was dug and the water drained quickly, more rice would have been produced than the target.

Tangail-3 MP Ataur Rahman Khan, , “farmers will benefit a lot if this canal is dug. So far no one has informed me about the current status of the canal. I spoke with the local chairman. I will try to work at a faster pace through the proper channel.”