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Flood causes serious damage to agriculture in Kurigram

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A Correspondent
Kurigram: Serious flooding for three straight weeks caused extensive damage to the agriculture, fisheries and infrastructure sectors in the district.
The flood damaged properties worth Tk 1,500 crores in the three sectors, records of the Water Development Board, Fisheries Department and Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) offices in the district showed.
 Acting Deputy Director of DAE in Kurigram Dr Afsar Ali said the flood has caused losses to 1,89,630 farmer families in the district, wreaking havoc on different types of crops, including transplanted Aman, on 32,395.1 hectares of land.
Of the affected crop fields, 31,392 hectares are of transplanted Aman, 447 hectares of Aman seedbeds, 38 hectares of Aus paddy and 38 hectares are of vegetables.
The extent of damage to the agriculture by the flooding was estimated at Tk240.71 lakh.
Deputy Director of Fisheries Department in the district Zillur Rahman said the flood washed away fishes from 677.6 acres of marsh lands and 1,789 water bodies, causing loss of Tk322.5 crore.
Executive Engineer of Water Development Board office in the district Abu Taher said about 17 kilometre area of the flood protection embankment at different points has become vulnerable due to the flood.
He added Tk460 crore will be needed to repair the damaged portions of the dyke.
He said a Tk460 crore project proposal has already been sent to the higher authorities to repair and reconstruct the risky portions of the dyke.
Emergency measures will be taken to protect the dyke from being damaged after allocation of fund, he said further.
Another WDB official Abdul Quader said river erosion occurred at least at 30 points in Kurigram north unit under WDB Lalmonirhat, putting 44 kms out of 48 kms of the flood protection embankment at risk.
Earlier, a project proposal of Tk532 crore had been submitted to the authorities concerned to repair the vulnerable portions of the dyke and prevent river erosion, he said, adding that river erosion could not be checked due to lack of fund.
District relief and rehabilitation officer Mizanur Rahman said trail of the recent flood was seen in 708 square kilometers area of 59 unions under nine upazilas of the district.
He added the flood inundated 492 villages damaging about 35,000 dwelling houses, 280 km roads, 19 shelter centres, 29 bridges and 198 institutions.
Sources concerned said the government is yet to take any notable initiative to recover from the extensive losses caused by the 21-day long flood.
Though different incentive packages and project proposals were sent to the authorities concerned to recoup the flood-inflicted damage, no response has been found yet.
Consequently, 18 lakh flood affected people are now passing days amid insecurity.