As floodwaters have started receding, river erosion has taken a serious turn in 40 villages under 25 unions of Gangachara, Kaunia and Pirgachha upazila in Rangpur. Among the villages, Shankardaho of Lakkhitari union in Gangachara is the worst-hit. Already 80-85 percent areas of the village have been lost to the erosion by Teesta River.
Abdullah Al Hadir, chairman of Lakkhitari Union, alleged that the quantity of the geo-bags dumped by the Water Development Board was insufficient.
He said, "If 15-20 thousand geo-bags are not dumped urgently to protect the embankment on the Teesta in Shakardaho, the entire village with its roads, houses, educational institutions and crop fields will devoured by the river as well as the communication with Rangpur, Lalmonirhat and Kurigram will be cut off. Besides, several other villages adjacent to Shankardaho and Sheikh Hasina Teesta Bridge in Mohipur village will be at risk of erosion."
Md Mehedi Hasan, executive engineer of Rangpur Water Development Board, said they were trying their best to protect the roads and embankments of the Water Development Board. They are repairing the roads and embankments.
However, it was the job of local government, rural development and cooperatives ministry to repair damaged houses and roads in rural areas, he said.
He further said people in char and low-lying areas were suffering due to the river erosion caused by the receding of floodwater. However, the problem would be solved within a few days, he added.
Nafiz Reza, Gangachara Fire Service Station commander, said, "Firefighters have been deployed in the affected areas to remove the houses and prevent accidents. The affected families are being evacuated from the char areas."
Asib Ahsan, Rangpur deputy commissioner, said, "The repair work of the damaged roads in the affected areas has already started. The local administration is making lists of the affected families. The list will be sent to the ministry for providing them with incentives."
He said 300 tonnes of rice, 3,500 packets of dry food and Tk7.5 lakh had been allocated for the people of the affected areas.