Dharla growing fierce in Lalmonirhat
Iman Ali, 60, lost his home to the Dharla river last Sunday afternoon. So did Saidul Islam, Zahurul Haque and Abdur Rahman -- all in their fifties.
They are all residents of Falimari, a village by the Dharla, in Lalmonirhat Sadar upazila and all of them earn their livelihood by catching fish in the river.
The same river that provides their livelihood took everything that they called their own, one of them sighed in distress.
Over the past few days the Dharla has devoured several residential houses and fifty bighas of croplands in Falimari. At least fifty more houses and another hundred acres of arable land now run the risk of going into the river.
Iman Ali said his house was on 12 decimals of land. With the roof over their head gone, he and his family had to take shelter on someone else's land. The suffering they have been going through is indescribable.
Abdur Rahman's 10-decimal house was on a government road. At this age it would be next to impossible for him to earn enough for building another house, he lamented.
The river has already eroded maize field on four bighas of his land between last Sunday and Monday and around fifty houses, including his, are now under serious threat of erosion, said villager Aminul Islam.
While speaking with this correspondent, Mogolhat Union Parishad Chairman Habibur Rahman said as the erosion of the river may turn more destructive during the upcoming monsoon, many people are now busy dismantling and removing their houses, away from the path of the destruction.
A petition seeking immediate steps to protect the properties of villagers has been filed with the Water Development Board (WDB), he added.
Contacted, Mizanur Rahman, WDB executive engineer in Lalmonirhat, said they would inform the higher authorities of the situation and they would be able to take steps in this regard only when funds are allocated for the purpose.