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2,842 hectare farmland to be devoured this year

Predict UNDP, water board

The mighty Jamuna devours its banks prompting Bangladesh Water Development Board to dump sandbags at the groyne at Kalitola under Shariakandi upazila in Bogra yesterday in an effort to stop the erosion.Photo: STAR

At least 2,842 hectares of cultivable land on the banks of the Jamuna and the Padma along with 31 educational institutions will disappear due to river erosion this year, United Nations Development Project (UNDP) and Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) predict.

About 3,970 hectares of land and 40 educational institutions along with five government offices were wiped out last year.

A survey report of UNDP, based on satellite images prepared by Centre for Environmental and Geographic Information Services, revealed this in April this year.

SK Abdul Momin, superintendent engineer BWDB (Bogra O&M circle), said the department has taken additional precautionary measures to protect 43 vulnerable points including Kalitola and Hasnapara groin areas of Shariakandi upazila in Bogra and district headquarters like Sirajganj on the Jamuna and the Padma.

The report says that more than 451 hectares of land with settlements on it will be eroded on the banks of the rivers during this season. Last year it was 530 hectares.

At least 6.1km of district, upazila and rural roads and 5.16km of embankment are also likely to be damaged due to heavy rain and river erosion this year.

The report says that at least 15 government and three non-government offices are likely to disappear into the rivers--one in Gaibandha, three in Jamalpur, eight in Sirajganj, one in Faridpur, one in Munshiganj and four in Shariatpur.

The Putimari Community Clinic at Chilmari upazila in Kurigram and a health and family planning centre at Shahzadpur in Sirajganj on the Jamuna may disappear, the survey reports. A total of 26 points in Kurigram, Gaibandha, Bogra, Sirajganj, Pabna, Jamalpur and Tangail on the Jamuna have been identified as vulnerable.

As many as 12 points were identified as vulnerable in the northern districts of Chapainawabganj, Rajshahi, Pabna and southern districts of Kushtia and Rajbari on the Padma. At least five locations in Faridpur, Shariatpur and Munshiganj on the Padma are likely to be devoured this year.

The report says that at least 1,56,780 hectares in Kurigram, Gaibandha, Jamalpur, Bogra, Sirajganj, Tangail, Pabna, Manikganj, Chapainawabganj, Rajshahi, Natore, Kushtia, Rajbari, Faridpur and a few other districts have been obliterated since 1973 by the Jamuna and the Padma.

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