Published:  02:23 AM, 17 May 2018

River bank erosion hits 4m in 47 years

At least 4 million people over the last 47 years have been rooted out from their homes because of riverbank erosion, especially in the northern districts of the country.

According to a survey carried out by the Bangladesh Water Development Board and some other international survey, USAID, each year 25 thousand acres of land have been destroyed and submerged in the bed of the rivers due to river erosion and flood.

The government has invested a total of Taka 24 thousand crore for the rehabilitations of the victims and combating the erosion and flood. About two thousand square kilometers of land had been devoured by rivers, the Bangladesh Water Development Board survey said adding that the properties damaged in the erosion is  estimated at Taka 500 crore each year.

The joint survey of the Bangladesh Water Development Board, the Department of Geography of the Jahangirnagar University and the USAID revealed that 80 per cent of the total area of the country has been covered by the river Teesta, the Jamuna and the Padma and these rivers covered 24 thousand kilometers of the riverine transport routes in the country.

About 12 thousand riverine routes are erosion prone, the study said adding that 5 lakh 50 thousand 270 acres of land under 51 districts were lost in the rivers between 1992 and 2014. 77 rivers, small and big, eroted the lands between 1972 and 2014, the study said. Devastating erosion have been recorded in Kurigram, Rangpur, Gaibandah, Nelphamari, Bogura, Serajgonj, Pabna, Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj destroying human settlements.

A total of 25 thousand square acres of land are eroded every year while only 2500 square acres of new land form each year. 80 per cent of the 40 lakh erosion victims came to the capital city for their survival, the study said adding that they took shelter in slum areas, flood protection embankments and other places.

The government sanctioned only taka four thousand crore for the rehabilitation program of the victims, checking river bank erosion and protecting the cities on the banks of rivers.The sources said that taka 20 thousand crore was sanctioned to protect the flood prone areas from the devastation of the erosion and the flood.

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