India opens Gajaldoba floodgates

30,000 marooned in Lalmonirhat floods

Rezaul Karim Manik . Lalmonirhat and Emran Hossain | Published: 00:30, Sep 19,2019


The Teesta and Dharla, two major northern region rivers, were flowing above their danger levels Wednesday afternoon due to heavy onrush of waters from India since it opened 54 flood gates of the Gajaldoba Barrage Tuesday without any warning.

Heavy rains occurred in India from Friday to Tuesday just as the Indian Met Office had forecast providing enough time to the Gajaldoba Barrage authorities to inform Bangladesh that  the floodgates would be opened.

The sudden flooding marooned at least 30,000 people in 25 villages on shoals in five upazilas of Lalmonirhat district.

‘Tributaries of Teesta and Dharla are also overflowing and if the onrush continue for another day the tributaries would merge,’  Monwar Hossain, chairman of Singimari union, told New Age.

Bangladesh Water Development Board said that the Teesta was flowing 25 cm above its danger level while Dharla  five cm above its danger mark.

The sudden flooding without advance warning s brought to the fore India not providing the advance warning to Bangladesh in violation of working arrangements in place.

But severe scarcity of water hampered growing crops in Lalmonirhat and Kurigram at least for t 20 days until Sunday when India withdrew waters from the common river Teesta using its  Gajaldoba Barrage. As a result the Teesta in Bangladesh virtually dried and villagers were seen crossing the river on foot.

But everything change suddenly after India opened the floodgates of the Gajaldoba Barrage and the gushing waters washed away embankments at Dhubni, Singimari early Wednesday.

Samiul Amin, upazila nirbahi officer, Hatibandha told New Age that he requested the higher authorities to send relief materials for the marooned villagers.

WDB executive engineer Robiul Islam told New Age, ‘we had to open 44 floodgates of our  Teesta Barrage.

This is for the third time that sudden floods hit Lalmonirhat since July.

In the first week of July ,the Teesta River in Bangladesh flowed above its danger level after India had opened the floodgates of Gajaldoba Barrage with the consequence that over one third area in lower riparian Bangladesh suffered severe flooding for the  next 22 days.

Since July 27, the Teesta in Bangladesh burst its banks for t5he 2nd time after India opened the floodgates of Gajaldoba Barrage, the consequence was flooding in the northern and central districts of Bangladesh for about a week.

Bangladesh Met Office vpredicted light to moderate rains at a few places in Chattogram and Sylhet divisions and at one or two places in the other divisions.

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