Gone to water: 2 Khulna rivers fill up within a year of re-excavation
Publish- August 10, 2020, 12:48 PM
Sheikh Deedarul Alam - UNB Khulna Correspondent
Update- August 10, 2020, 01:44 PM
One can hardly believe that the river was dredged only a year ago. Photo: UNB
The Bhadra and Shalta rivers in Khulna's Dumuria upazila have filled up in just one year after re-excavation that cost Tk 46.25 crore.
However, the authorities blame silt from the upstream and cutting of the Teligati and Tiabunia dams of Kharnia.
There is now little water left in the rivers. Soil kept on the banks after re-excavation was washed away by rain water.
Locals said that the rivers were vibrant even 15 years ago when many people depended on them for livelihood. The rivers also played an important role in economic development.
But a 30km stretch of Bhadra and Shalata were eventually filled with silt. As the rivers started to fill up, illegal encroachment began.
Influential people built houses, rice mills, saw mills, markets, multi-storied buildings and other structures by filling up the river.
This led to the permanent closure of the area’s drainage system. Now even light rains trigger waterlogging, said locals.
According to Khulna Water Development Board (BWDB) sources, a project worth Tk 76.25 crore was approved at the ECNEC meeting in September 2016 for dredging the two rivers. The project implementation period was set for 2018-2019 fiscal year. The works are implemented through tenders in nine packages.
Under the project, an 11.7km stretch from Dighalia to Dumuria Bazar in the southern part of Bhadra River and 9.8km stretch from Teligati to Dumuria Bazar in the northern part were excavated.
Besides, the Shalta River was connected to the Shailmari River by digging a 9km stretch.