Vol. 5 Num 27 Wed. June 23, 2004  

3 unions flooded by Teesta
WDB starts dam repair work at Chhalapak

The Water Development Board yesterday began repair of the damaged Teesta embankment at Chhalapak in Gangachara upzila.

About 2000 families have been displaced and vast croplands inundated in Gajghanta, Chhalapak and Mornea unions following breach in the embankment Sunday evening.

"The repair work can be completed in a week", WDB Executive Engineer AKM Moazzem Hossen told this correspondent.

The affected people have taken shelter on high lands, roads and embankments as their homesteads have been inundated.

The district administration is yet to give them any relief, the affected people said.

They said more areas are being inundated as water from the swollen Teesta is gushing through the breach.

The Teesta rose because of onrush of water from across the border and incessant rain in the last three days.

Local people said the embankment could be protected had the authorities taken measures earlier.

The dam collapsed last year also. WDB repaired it at a cost of Tk 16 lack.

A WDB source said the dam could be saved if bank revetment work was done at Chhalapak last year. A Tk six crore project was submitted to the Water Resources Ministry. It is awaiting Planning Commission approval.

Chairman of Gajghanta union Khalilur Rahman said the affected people are passing days amid hardship as relief is yet to be supplied.

Sources in the Department of Agriculture Extension said seedbeds on about 500 hectares of low land in three unions are now under water.

Water gushing through the breached Teesta embankment at Chhalapak in Gangachara upazila in Rangpur. Cracks developed in embankment a week ago due to pressure of water and rain but the Water Development Board did not take any step to protect the dam repaired last year. The photo was taken yesterday morning. PHOTO: STAR