Victims demolishing their structures (Photo: Adhikar)
‘Ghumamo in the last rice at such time Ghapatkari erosion has started. Our children have not received postage. One of our houses went into the river without calling. Fortunately there were no crows in that house.’ Mufia Begum (75), wife of deceased Shahadat Hossain of Bajra Kalapani village of Teesta Par, told about such a terrible experience.
Rahim Mia (45) of Satalshkar village said the same thing. He said, ‘I have not been able to pull the house that is breaking down after dawn. Didn’t get a chance to catch anything. The house is full at once.’
Erosion has started since last one month in West Kalpani Bajra, Kalpani Bajra and Satalskar villages of Bajra Union of Ulipu Upazila of Kurigram. From Jazmiya’s house in the north to Rostam Maulvi’s house in the south, erosion was raging over an area of about two kilometers. In the last three days, due to the sudden intensity of erosion, the river has swallowed the last possessions of people including more than 250 houses, 500 bigha of crop land, trees, educational institutions, markets, mosques, temples, Idgah grounds.
Maulvi Refakat Hossain, Superintendent of Bajra Paschim Para Dakhil Madrasa of this village, said that the Madrasa was brought here in 1989. There are 412 students in this madrasa. From the day before yesterday, a terrible erosion started suddenly in Teesta river. As a result, half of my madrassa is gone. Trying to break the rest. In this terrible erosion, about 250 houses, including West Bajra Community Clinic, Bajra Old Market, a private primary school, two mosques, a temple and an Idgah ground, were lost under the river. People are currently staying in the open air.
Sarzamin On Wednesday morning, the three villages were seen showing sad signs of erosion in the open desert. People are collecting the scattered items. They are trying to lift the tubewell, kitchen stove saved on the river bank. Some people are cutting trees. The horror of the erosion is revealed in their eyes. Hundreds of people lined the entire river to see the signs of distress. And the workers have been working since dawn to rescue the surviving parts of the house.
In such a situation, no one has extended the hand of official support to the complaint. The chairman-members have only seen. They have nothing to do. On the other hand, despite receiving the news of this terrible erosion, no inquiry was taken from the upazila administration. Many of the distressed are inhumanely in the open desert in the rain.
Mozammel Haque (65), the son of a deceased jahur trader of Kalpani Bajra, wiped his tears and said, ‘I have been living in this (open field) for three days. Poor people have no place to go. Today, distant cousin Titu Mia, a resident of Bajra Bazar, has given permission to build her Khulit (courtyard) house. Let’s see if I get up for now, then the Lord will see me.’
Shahjahan, the son of deceased Shahadat Hossain of Satalskar village, was carrying goods on a tractor. He said, ‘I and my mother Sufia Begum and neighbor Ranju Mia are going to Baburhat in South Bajra. A person has given space there. I will go there.’
Ulipur Upazila Executive Officer Vipul Kumar said, ‘We are constantly investigating. The chairman and members of the union have been asked to list those affected by the break-up as soon as possible. Cooperation will be done after receiving the list. We also updated the erosion issues with the Water Development Board. I also sent a picture on WhatsApp. They said that they are not able to do the movement because they don’t have the budget. And if there was anyone in the open sky, it did not come to my attention. I am taking action now.’
Abdullah Al Mamun, Executive Engineer of Kurigram Water Development Board, said that the intensity of the Mul River was in this area 20-25 years ago. Erosion has suddenly started here due to river management measures upstream of the villages. We have reported the matter to the higher authorities. Action will be taken soon.
Source: ODHIKAR by www.odhikar.news.
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