Teesta swells again, many live on dykes

Rezaul Karim Manik . Lalmonirhat | Published: 00:33, Sep 29,2019


Floods triggered by heavy downpour and onrush of water from the upstream affected parts of four upazilas in Lalmonirhat on Friday night.

At least 35,000 families in Patgram, Hatibandha, Kaliganj and Aditmari were affected by the fresh inundation, according to local officials.

Water Development Board executive engineer Rabiul Islam said water gushing from the upstream forced them to open floodgates at the Teesta Barrage following heavy rains for over a week.

They said the River Teesta might continue to rise given that rains continued. Until Saturday evening, the Teesta was flowing five centimeter below the danger level at Dalia Point and the Dharla was flowing eight centimeter below the danger level at Kulaghat.

Hatibandha upazila nirbahi officer Samiul Amin said the administration was aware of possible dangers and damages and they were ready to deal with any disaster.

He said people living in low lying areas had been warned and were asked to remain alert to shift to safer places anytime.

On September 7, the Teesta River overflowed for about a day after India opened its floodgates at Gajaldoba Barrage flooding 63 chars in five upazilas in the district.

During the time, around 267 families became homeless, and the district administration has so far provided 70 families with corrugated iron sheets and money as rehabilitation support.

For the last five days, Belal was living on a dyke of Water Development Board. He along with his five family members took shelter on the embankment in Lalmonirhat Sadar after floodwater washed away his house at Gobardhan village on September 22.

Balal said all his belongings, crop and livestock were lost to the swirling water of the Teesta river.  

Like Belal, many flood victims were still living in makeshift shanties on the dykes and at the roadside. Most of them depend on relief from government and NGOs for survival. Lalmonirhat deputy commissioner Abu Jafar said each of the families was given one bundle of corrugated sheets and Tk 3,000 to reconstruct their houses.

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