A tower of the national power grid in Pabna is under severe threat due to erosion of the Jamuna river.
Ankara tower at the national grid's transmission line in Bera upazila’s Khanpura village could crumble any time if the continuous river erosion is not prevented in time.
This tower controls eleven conduction towers that pass through the Jamuna river. The tower is only 500-600 metres away from the eroding Jamuna.
Severe power failure will hit the country if the tower is damaged. Load shedding can occur, leaving around 70 million people in the northern part of the country in the dark.
Talking to The Business Standard, Pabna Deputy Commissioner Kabir Mahmud said necessary instructions have been given to protect the tower.
According to Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB), most of the villages, including Natakhola ferry terminal, went under water because of erosion of the Jamuna last year.
Erosion caused extensive damage this year, washing away residences and roads in Khanpura, Charpechakola, Ghop Silanda and Mohonganj. Sand-filled sacks have been dumped in the river in an effort to prevent erosion.
Meanwhile, erosion has also hit villages on the banks of the Padma river in Sujanagar upazila.
According to the BWDB, houses and wide areas of croplands in Gupinpur, Barkhapur, Raipur, Nurhati, Khalilpur, Kanchan Dam and Hasimpur villages have been washed away.
Sujanagar upazila parishad Chairman Shaheenuzzaman Shaheen said it is difficult to find the exact number of people affected by the Padma erosion as the river has become more intense and aggressive over the past three weeks.
Hundreds of families are living a miserable life after losing homes and croplands. The number of distressed people is constantly increasing.
Abdul Hamid, executive engineer of Bera sub-divisional area of the Pabna Water Development Board, said water in the Padma and the Jamuna rivers had increased concurrently and the erosion had occurred due to intense pressure on the riverbanks.
“The local water development board is working with locals to prevent erosion by dumping sand-filled sacks. In the last three weeks, about thirty thousand geobags have been dumped and more will be dumped,” he added.