Although Barguna’s Varani canal has finally been re-excavated after a long struggle, residents of the area fear that it cannot be resuscitated due to several poorly planned bridges built over the canal.
Varani, the canal that connects Payra and Khakdon rivers, has been dead for decades due to illegal occupation.
This canal originated from Khakdon river and went on 9 km though the city to connect to the Payra river.
Eleven bridges have been built along these 9 km. In monsoon no vessel can pass under these bridges. Due to these unplanned, or poorly planned bridges, the once vital means of naval communication turned into an impassable dead canal.
The canal was a reliable means of trade and commerce in Barguna Sadar upazila. But over time it became a dead artery due to pollution and illegal occupation. The condition of seven more tributary canals connected with the Varani canal are the same.
Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) launched a re-excavate operation which is now almost complete. They have also vacated the banks. However, the 11 bridges are still untouched.