POST TIME: 20 July, 2019 09:38:05 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 20 July, 2019 09:38:33 AM
Erosion by Jhenai, Bonsai rivers worsens

Erosion by Jhenai, Bonsai rivers worsens

Erosion caused by the Jhenai and Bonsai rivers has turned serious in Mirzapur upazila over the past few days due to onrush of flood water and heavy rain.

A part of the embankment, maintained by the Water Development Board (WDB), has already eroded. Cropland and homesteads have also been swept away. Communication between the Mirzapur upazila headquarters and 10 villages has become seriously disrupted.

 Sources say the erosion has assumed serious proportions with the rise in the waters of the Jhenai (Boumora) and Bonsai rivers under Mirzapur upazila. Major parts of the Korni-Patherghata road at Bainalpur, Hilda road, and the road of the WDB on the Mirzapur-Patharghata stretch have been swept away at the Trimohoni point. Of the 16-ft wide road, the rivers have gobbled up 12ft. One culvert and a 400-ft stretch of the Kurni-Fatehpur road have been washed away.

About 500 acres of croplands in Trimohoni, Fatehpur, Tholpara, Bailanpur, Sutanori, Bankata, Pardighi, and Chakleshor have been devoured by the rivers.

Moniruzzaman, secretary of Mirzapur Krira Sangstha, said major parts of the century-old Fatehpur bazaar and the 40-year-old Fatehpur High School have caved in. Some of the other buildings have now become vulnerable. Ashraful Ulum Hafizia Madrasha may go under water at any time.

 A few homesteads have already been washed away and about 50 homesteads now face serious threat of being flooded. Communication between Sadar upazila and four northern unions of the upazila may become snapped if preventive steps are not taken immediately.

 Abdur Rouf, UP chairman of Fatehpur, said: “Every year, erosion takes a serious turn when there is an onrush of water and sharp currents. Locals made desperate efforts to stop the erosion by putting bamboo poles. But it didn't help.”

Locals alleged that some vested quarters were engaged in grabbing lands from the Jhenai and Bonsai river banks. "Sand is being lifted from the river bed with the help of dredgers. As a result, the river flow has become erratic, causing serious erosion," said one of them.

 Helal Mia and Ajim Uddin, both residents of village Bankata, alleged that Akhter Hossain, Saij Uddin, Kuddus, Nuru Mia, Polash, Prince, Awal and Sajal of the village used to dig out sand from the river bed of the Bonsai and the Jhenai with dredgers.

 Sayed Ali, Aynal Mia, Maleka Begum, Firoja Begum, Kanchan Bala and Joynal Abedin—all victims of the erosion—said their homes and croplands have been devoured by the Bonsai and Jhenai rivers. They urged the government for rehabilitation.

Mirzapur UNO Md Abdul Malek said strong action would be taken against the illegal sand lifters. “The upazila administration has conducted several mobile courts and fined the owners of the dredgers. No illegal sand lifters will be spared,” he added.

 Rafiqul Islam Bhuyan, engineer of Mirzapur Upazila, said steps would be taken after having talks with the WDB authorities. Locals demanded permanent protection from the river erosion.