Vol. 5 Num 1022 Tue. April 17, 2007  

Gaibandha Town dam Vulnerable at 13 Points
Funds sanctioned twice but no repair done

People of Gaibandha town and surrounding areas brace for floods and erosion in the coming monsoon again as the town protection embankment is vulnerable at 13 points.

Vast areas go under flood water from Ghagot river as 13 points have not been renovated in last three years. Breaches developed in most of the vulnerable points during flood in 2003 but Water Development Board (WDB) is yet to repair those, local people said.

The vulnerable areas are 400 metres at Narayanpur, 300 at Kazoldhop, 380 at Goyeshpur, 400 at Kholabari, 200 at Bridge Bazaar, 400 at Joyenpur, 500 at Laxmipur, 300 at Hamindpur and 200 metres at Patilakura.

WDB sources said the board got an allocation of Tk 45 lakh for renovation of vulnerable points and another Tk 46 lakh to acquire lands in 2004. WDB invited tender in 2005-06 financial year for renovation of damaged portions of the embankment.

But the work could not be started in time as the district administration could not acquire lands for reconstruction of the embankment. Only 200 metres were renovated at Bridge Bazaar.

During last year's flood, breaches developed at five more points in embankment near Gaibandha town and in Baguria, Konarpara, Goderhat, Salaibari and Pachim Kamornai araes.

WDB then made a fresh proposal involving Tk 73 lakh for renovation of affected points. The authorities sanctioned Tk 43 lakh, rejecting the proposal for funds for land acquisition. The local WDB were asked to take over lands for free from local people for embankment renovation.

A fresh tender was floated in January last year. But the work could not be started as local people refused to give land for free.

A portion of the damaged flood protection embankment at Paschim Kamornai, one of 13 vulnerable points in Gaibandha Sadar upazila. PHOTO: STAR