The victims of ongoing erosion by the Teesta joined a human chain on the riverbank at Balapara of Mahishkhocha union in Lalmonirhat's Aditmari upazila on Monday demanding immediate government steps to save them from the menace.
The river devoured around 500 dwellings in wards No 4 and 5 of Mahishkhocha union in the last five days while more than 1500 houses are under threat, said participants in the human chain.
Arable lands, orchards and other important establishments in the char (landmass emerging from riverbed) area are also going into the rivered.
Abdul Mannan, a former union parishad (UP) member, with his six-member family has taken shelter in other's land after losing their house to the Teesta.
"Only a week ago we had home, arable land and orchards. Today we are landless and destitute. Hundreds of families have become landless due to serious erosion by the Teesta in the area. Some have taken shelter on government roads and some on other people's land.
Instead of giving relief, the government should take effective steps to save dwellings and arable lands by building an embankment on the left bank of the Teesta, he said.
Babul Miah, a victim of the river erosion, said, "Many of us have somehow removed the houses elsewhere. Around 500 dwellings along with arable lands have gone into the Teesta in last five days."
"We could not celebrate the Eid as the Teesta has made us homeless and landless. The government's relief programme benefits only a section of the society," said Abdul Jalil, another victim of the erosion.
Mosaddek Hossain Chowdhury, chairman of Mahishkhocha UP, said, "Many people in the union are becoming victims as the Teesta continued devouring homesteads, arable lands, orchards and establishments. The Water Development Board and upazila and district administrations have been informed about the situation, but no action has been taken."
Mizanur Rahman, executive engineer of Lalmonirhat Water Development Board, said, "We have visited the affected areas of the Teesta char in Mahishkhocha union. Attempts are on to prevent erosion by throwing geo-bags at important places. The decision to construct embankment on the riverbank is up to the higher authorities of the government."