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2 lakh people marooned as flood hits Bhola

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A Correspondent

Bhola: Onrush of water from the upstream and heavy rainfall over the last couple of days flooded more than 50 villages in three upazilas in the district, leaving about 2 lakh people marooned.

On Saturday, it was found that tidal water have been rushing in and flooding the low laying areas due to long breaches on the flood protection embankment that have developed over the last one and a half months.

In Doulotkhan upazila, the tidal water broke through the 1km-long flood protection embankment at Syedpur union parishad and marooned about 600-700 families in the area.

Syedpur UP member M Jamal Uddin said although the embankment went rickety about two months back, the Water Development Board (WDB) took no action.

Finding no solution, local people filed an application for the repair of the embankment to the UNO. Later, following the application, the WDB built a new embankment keeping about 7000 people unprotected.

All kinds of establishments in the area, including schools, madrasahs, mosques, temples and fish farms went under water because of the strong tidal surge over the last couple of days.

In Charfashion upazila, about 3.5km flood protection embankment at Madras union parishad went rickety due to lack of repair and maintenance of the WDB.

As a result, about 40 villages under seven union parishads in the upazila became flooded at the advent of this rainy season.

According to the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), about 4,250 hectare cultivable lands in the upazila have for months been flooded, leading to a loss of crops worth Tk 20 crore.

In Monpura upazila, people of Hajipur, Monpura, Dakkhin Sakuchia and Uttar Sakuchia union parishads have also been affected by the tidal surge for the last one month.

Particularly, several hundred families in Dakkhin Sakuchia union parishad have been marooned for one month due to lack of maintenance of the 1km-long embankment along the area.

Contacted, WDB’s Bhola office executive engineer Abdul Hakim said the embankments can not be repaired until the next dry season.

As the embankments need to shield the strong currents of the Meghna River, they will not remain intact if repaired during the rainy season, he added.