Vol. 5 Num 994 Sun. March 18, 2007  

Tk 2cr down the drain!
Sluice gate being built on 'dead' canal

Construction of a sluice gate on a silted canal at Bangdah in Sadar upazila is going on in full swing ignoring protests by local people and an order by the Water Development Board (WDB) Chief Engineer to stop it.

WDB Chief Engineer Nurunnabi Chowdhury ordered to stop the construction work after visiting the site but the contractor concerned is continuing the work in collaboration with a section of officials and staff, sources said.

The new sluice gate is being constructed where the old one became inoperative as the canal died due to deposit of silt. Local people protested construction of a new one, saying it is wastage of money as aluice gate would be totally useless now.

On the other hand, two families were compelled to leave their ancestral homesteads due to construction of the new sluice gate, the sources alleged.

The new sluice gate being constructed about 50 yards of the old one involves Tk 2 crore, some sources in WDB told this correspondent. The old one was built in the 70s to drain out water of 21 beels (water bodies) to Marichchap river, WDB sources and locals said.

As Marichchap river lost navigability due to massive deposit of silt, the Bangdah sluice gate also became inoperative as the river bed rose.

On contact, Satkhira WDB Executive Engineer Muzibar Rahman said, the chief engineer ordered to stop the construction work. So there is no question of continuing the work, he added.