Flood shelters and cluster villages built under Ashrayan project along the Teesta river basin in Sundarganj upazila has been lying in ramshackle condition for long due to lack of proper maintenance, causing immense sufferings to homeless destitute char people.
Moreover, shelter houses remain under three to four feet of water during the recent flood and due to this, the inmates of the houses were compelled to shift to safer places. On the other hand, many houses were devoured by the river.
Apart from this, local influential people grabbed a number of dwellings and the shelter houses were then kept under lock and key.
River erosion is a common phenomenon in Tarapur, Belka, Haripur, Chandipur, Kapasia and Sreepur unions of the upazila, rendering many families homeless every year.
Vast tract of croplands also went into the river every year, said locals.
Many flood shelters and cluster villages built in low-lying areas fall victim to flood and river erosion every year and due to this, the destitute char people fell in great trouble, said residents of char Belka.
According to the upazila project implementation office,13 shelter houses, 10 cluster villages and three flood shelters were built under the Ashrayan project ten to 15 years back for the accommodation of poor and destitute shelter-less char people.
All such houses are now in ramshackle condition due to lack of proper maintenance, said the char people.
Rafiqul Islam, a resident of Kapasia union, said the tin-shed houses got nearly damaged for lack of proper maintenance.
As big leakages developed on corrugated iron (CI) sheets, it became difficult staying inside during the rainy season, he said.
Nafiul Islam Jimy, chairman of Haripur union parishad, said the houses built under the project are not fit for use now as no repair work was done since its construction.
Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Md Solaiman Ali said the damaged shelter houses in char areas would be repaired through local arrangement.
Meanwhile, 43 destitute families have recently got disaster-resilient houses in the upazila and more shelter-less families would be brought under this programme, said the UNO.