By: Siam Sarower Jamil
Dhaka, Aug 13: More than 1 million people of 6 northern districts of Bangladesh have been marooned by floodwaters as both the Teesta and Dharla rivers were flowing above the danger level. The flood bypass road on the Teesta Barrage broke down due to opening of 54 gates of Gajoldoba Barrage in India and onrush of water coupled with heavy rain in the last five days, said Mustafizer Rahman, executive engineer of Bangladesh Water Development Board, Dalia Division. Meanwhile, at least 200 villages were flooded following the broke down of flood bypass road. Local BWDB office on Sunday morning has issued red alert in Teesta Barrage area, asking the people living in 63 chars of Teesta and Dharala to keep updated with the latest flood situation, said Mustafizer Rahman. The floodwaters also prompted disruption of bus and rail communications of those districts with other parts of the country. Local officials of BWDB said Dharala River was flowing 108 centimetres above the danger level while Teesta River was flowing 65 centimetres above the danger mark early Sunday. Houses, roads and educational institutions have been eroded by the heavy current of Teesta and Dharla rivers. Regarding measures taken to prevent erosion, WDB Lalmonirhat deputy-assistant engineer Kamrul Islam said, ‘We have started dumping GO bags (sandbags) to prevent erosion at the vulnerable points of the barrage.’ Local education officer Nobez Uddin told to the Imphal Times, total of 400 educational institutions in the 6 districts were declared closed for floodwaters. Several thousands farmers have to face heavy losses as more than 300 ponds were washed away by flashfloods, said Rezaul Karim, district fisheries officer. Lalmonirhat deputy commissioner (DC) Shafiul Arif said that overall flood situation in the district has turned serious, leaving more than two lakh people marooned. Bus and train connection have declared suspended due to the floods. On last Sunday, some 1,600 packets of dry foods have been distributed among the floodaffected people, he added.