Dhaka, Bangladesh
Move to excavate Brahmaputra springs new hope

Move to excavate Brahmaputra springs new hope

News Desk SHERPUR, Oct 12: The government's recent move to excavate the Brahmapura River aiming to improve its navigability with a view to reclaiming its lost parts from the clutches of encroachers has raised a new hope among the residents of the district and other people living in its vicinity. On October 2, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved 15 projects involving Tk 13,218.31 crore, including Tk 4,371 crore for 'Navigability development and reclamation of Old Brahmaputra, Dharla, Tulai and Punorbhoba Rivers' project. Brahmapurta, once in bygone years was a river with strong current, turned into a narrow canal, in the process of illegal encroachment by local influential people. Only a few years back it was a busy waterway as the vicinity of the river was abuzz with traders and fishermen amid widespread use of boats and trawlers. But the scenario has changed totally and the river has turned into a canal, where unemployed people have been living on the banks of this river. Several thousand hectares of agricultural lands have also turned barren in the process as the farmers failed to pump water into their croplands due to water crisis. Kutub Uddin, a resident of Dakpara village in Charpokkhimari union in Sadar upazila, narrated saying how people used to carry their goods to Mymensingh, Dhaka and Narayanganj through the river routes from Roumari, but the river has dried up and as such transportation of goods has stopped. "When the river water used to swell, croplands and dwelling houses would have inundated, but now the river has turned into a cannel," he said. Under the new project, around 227 kilometers of the Old Brahmaputra River would be dredged up to 100 meters in width and 3 meters in depth to upgrade it to a class-II navigational route to ensure better transportation of passengers as well as goods at ease and at lower costs. Besides, Shipping Secretary Abdus Samad Faruk, who visited Sherpur recently, disclosed saying that the soil lifted from the river will be used in different development works, including renovation of roads, schools and colleges. A water body will be built on the river bank to help farmers use the water in their croplands during the dry season, he added. Md Abul Kalam Azad, convener of Sherpur District committee, appreciating the decision said," We welcome the government move to improve the navigability of the Brahmmaputra River to implement a long-cherished desire of the people of Sherpur. We want earlier implementation of the development project as soon as possible." Anar Koli Mahbub, deputy commissioner of Sherpur district, expressing high hope viewed "Once this river dredging project is implemented, the entire communications system of the region will have a different look, expanding tourism and business in the entire belt ." (Inputs taken from UNB)

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