Thousands of people living on the Padma riverbank are passing sleepless nights as severe erosion has started in different villages of Tongibari and Louhajang upazilas.
In the last several days, more than 50 houses, croplands, playgrounds, educational institutions, mosques, and shops in those upazilas have gone into the river due to the erosion.
The affected people have urged the authority concerned to build embankment and to protect them from erosion.
The fear of erosion has gripped the people of at least 20 villages under Kamarkhara, Hasail-Banari, Dighirpar, and Panchgaon unions in Tongibari upazila, and Gawdia, Kumarbhog, and Medinimondal unions in Louhajang upazila.
In the meantime, severe erosion has affected Borail, Bagbari, Chousar, and Jonisar villages under Kamarkhara union, and Mitara, Sarishabon, Dhankera, and Purba Hasail villages under Dighirpar union in Tongibari upazila; Gawdia, Shamurbari, and Padmar Char villages under Gawdia union, Shimulia Bazar and Kharia villages under Kumarbhog union, and Kandipara and Jasholdia villages including Old Mawa Ferry Ghat under Medinimondal union in Louhajang upazila.
With the daily increase of water in the Padma, the severity of erosion is also increasing.
On July 8 last, a youth Rajib drowned in the Padma at Bagbari area under Kamarkhara union. His relatives are yet to find the body.
The erosion-affected people have taken shelter on highlands and at their relatives’ houses. The establishments which are under threat of erosion are being removed to other places.
The affected people informed that a local Awami League leader at Dighirpar of Tongibari upazila and his men are extracting sand through dredger from the riverside which has increased the severity of erosion.
Meanwhile, due to erosion, different establishments including the Joinpuri Shrine, three mosques including Gawdia Bazar Mosque, one madrassa, Gawdia Government Primary School, Gawdia union parishad, the maternal uncle’s house of eminent writer Manik Bandopaddhay, the rest part of Gawdia Bazar, community clinic, a playground, four clubs, the village home of Munshiganj-2 MP Sagufta Yeasmin Emily, Yunus Khan Memorial Hospital, Haridia High School, and a graveyard are on the face of extinction.
Even the Louhajang-Bejgaon-Gawdia embankment is under threat of erosion.
Chairman of Kamarkhara union parishad under Tongibari upazila Md Mohiuddin Halder said, “Five villages in my union are under the threat of erosion. Though Water Development Board measured the site of embankment, no work has started yet.”