Padma swells further as India opens all Farakka gates


The water level of the Padma River has risen sharply due to the continuous rainfall across the Ganges basin area and discharge of huge water through the Farakka Barrage, raising alarm for floods in the north-western region of the country. The water level of the Padma River was recorded at 17.98 metres in Rajshahi yesterday, just 0.52 metres shy of the danger mark. Reports in the Indian media said all 119 gates of Farakka Barrage have been opened to avoid flooding in the adjacent areas.

All gates of the dam were opened due to massive water-logging and risk of flooding in 12 districts in the Indian State of Bihar, including Patna, said reports. “The Centre acted timely by opening all 119 gates of the Farakka barrage to ensure speedy discharge of the river water,” said a Times of India report yesterday. Rising Padma water has inundated low lying areas and vegetable farms in 18 char lands under three unions in Lalpur Upazila of Natore. Ishwardi Sugarcane Factory sources said flood submerged sugarcanes on 42 acres land.

Ummul Banin Duti, Upazila Nirbahi Officer of Lalpur said early variety winter vegetable fields in 18 char lands under Ishwardi, Bilmaria and Sadar unions in the upazila have gone under floodwater. Al Asad, assistant engineer of Natore Water Development Board, said if water level continues to rise further the water level in the Padma River will cross the danger mark soon.

Talking to media, Mohammad Ali, Chief Engineer of Water Development Board, Rajshahi informed that due to heavy rainfall across Bihar and Uttar Prodesh in India, most of the gates of Farakka Barrage have been opened up causing a sharp rise in the Padma water level. The Rajshahi city was paralysed yesterday due to incessant rain. The rainfall began at 4:30 am and continued without break till the writing of this report at 7:00 pm.

Low lying area of the city including at Chhoto Bongram, Mollapara, Dingadoba, Mushroil, Sopura, Tikapara, Seroil, Baliapukur, Machuapara were experiencing severe waterlogging. Rajshahi Meteorological Office recorded 33.6mm of rain in the city during the last 24 hours till 6pm.

Meanwhile, erosion by the River Padma has intensified in Goalanda of Rajbari, Jajira and Naria in Shariatpur and Shibchar of Madaripur districts due to the rise in water level. Large sections of river embankments at Naria and Jajira points of Shariatpur have collapsed during the last one week. Water Development Board is using geo-textile bags to prevent the erosion and repair the embankments, officials told media.