The eddy current of the Buragourang River is coming over the embankment, and the dam is collapsing

Malti Rani (45) got married at the age of 16. Swami Ramesh Mondal (50) came to the house and saw rice full of shells, fish in the house pond. A large, well-furnished house. Swami Ramesh Mandal had a large fish farm in addition to his agricultural land. The family was doing well. But today they are destitute due to the extensive erosion of the Buragourang River.

Malti Rani’s house is in the Hindu village of Char Montaj Union of Rangabali Upazila of Patuakhali. To the west of that village, the Buragourang river flows into the sea. Local people said that earlier there was more or less erosion in the cyclone throughout the year. But for 15 years, the intensity of erosion increases. The Hindu villages of Union, Dakshin Char Montaj, Boubazar, and Kheyaghat started disappearing due to river erosion. Once wealthy families have become destitute due to river erosion. At least two hundred families have taken refuge in other people’s land, government housing, or on the slopes of the dam due to erosion. Every year, the intensity of erosion increases before the rainy season. Currently, these families are spending their days in fear of erosion.

On April 22, on the surface of the land, near the Hindu village of Char Montaz Union, it was seen that the eddy current of the river was coming over the embankment. The soil of the dam is collapsing over a large area. Ramesh Mondal and Malati Rani were also standing and talking with others. They demand that a sustainable dam be constructed to avoid the erosion of the Buragourang River.

Malati Rani and Ramesh Mondal said that they had a house with one kani of land. There were cows, goats, ducks, chickens, and fish in the pond. But now all their land has been eroded and lost under the river. The house has been vandalised four times. Now they have settled into government housing. But erosion is now approaching. They will also lose their shelter if sustainable dams are not built to prevent erosion before the monsoon season. They spend their days in fear.

Another resident of that village. Ali (58) said that their house had to be moved three times due to the erosion of the Buragourang River. The ancestral property was 5 acres. But now they have nothing to say about property. Currently, he is living in a government shelter project house. Erosion increased before the monsoon. Much of the dam has collapsed into the river. If the whole dam breaks, their last refuge will also collapse. Crops will be damaged due to the saline water in the area.

Almost all of Nakul Mandal’s (55) paternal grandfather’s 10-acre, 51 percent land has been eroded. Now he is living in a house on the slope of the dam. He said, the strong current of the river is crashing on the dam. The dam is collapsing into the river. They demanded that we take the necessary measures to prevent erosion.

Kalapara office of the Water Development Board (PUBO) said that the length of the old 55/4 polder is 32 and a half kilometers. The construction of the dam started in 1987 and ended in 1991. However, the dam was heavily damaged in the 2007 Cedar. The dam is being repaired and maintained.

Member of the Union Parishad (UP). Mosharraf Matbar said, this dam on the bank of the Buragaurang River in Sagar Mohana is being damaged by natural disasters. This dam of their union has been protecting people’s lives along with protecting crops from salt water in these four areas – South Char Montaj, Boubazar, Hindu Village, and Kheyaghat. But every year, the dam collapses due to the strong current of the river. If there is no construction of alternative sustainable dams along with dam repairs on an urgent basis, the people of the erosion area will be afraid of dams every year.

Executive Engineer of Kalapara Town. Rakib Hossain said, the length of the 55/4 polder dam in the Boubazar area of Char Montaz Union is 32 and a half kilometers. Out of this, about three kilometers have been damaged. However, more than 420 meters are damaged. Therefore, an initiative has been taken to construct a 420 meter dam on an urgent basis.