Published:  12:00 AM, 27 August 2016

‘Declare Bhobodoho as disaster zone’

Activists wants permanent solution

‘Declare Bhobodoho as disaster zone’

Rights group has urged the government to declare Bhobodoho, a place in Jessore, as a disaster zone. The activists also demanded permanent solution for the area accommodating nearly 10 lakh people. They made the call while speaking at a human chain at Shahbagh in the capital yesterday. 'Amra Abhoynagarbashi', a social organization arranged the demonstration.  
Chief Executive of BELA (Bangladesh Environm-ental Lawyers Association) Syeda Rizwana Hasan expressed solidarity with the program. She said, "It is not a usual zone where people have to stay waterlogged for a longtime of the year." She also demanded Bhobodoho to declare 'seriously disaster-hit zone'.Rizwana said they would move to the High Court on Tuesday seeking answer why the issue would not be tried immediately. "Government fears to make such announcements. However, someone has to take the responsibility of the deaths caused by snakebite," she observed. 

The speakers said, "Bhobodoho was fertile like many other places of the country even a few years back. It had been yielding three crops of paddy a year, various vegetables during winter, fruits like mangoes, berries, jack-fruits during summer. But currently the situation has reversed. Having been water-logged almost throughout the year, no crops are harvested, no fruits, vegetables or even grass for cattle feeding are grown. Consequently there is every day shortage of food." "The area used to grow Tk 80 crore worth of agricultural produce, this has dropped down awfully. Most of the dwellings being submerged by water, cooking food and eating it, collecting pure drinking water, washing clothes, taking bath etc have become difficult and unhygienic. Sanitation system has broken down completely."

On 4 December 2005 over 300,000 people of Abhoynagar took to the roads and blocked the Jessore-Khulna Highway in the Nowapaara industrial area to protest against a longstanding waterlogging problem. The protest took place after 25,000 people took part in a silt removal drive in the Sri River at Bhobodoho sluice gate on November 9.

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