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Massive siltation wreaks havoc on Titas River

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Published: Friday, June 7, 2013

Sheikh Md Shahidul Islam, Brahmanbaria



The photo taken last March shows the pitiable condition of the Titas River at Ujanishar in Brahmanbaria district. PHOTO: STAR


The Titas River flowing through all nine upazilas in the district is heading towards virtual death due to huge siltation and lack of dredging.

Most of 120-kilometre-long Titas River, the main one of the district, sees scanty flow especially during the dry season, said locals and sources of Brahmanbaria division of Water Development Board (WDB).

That time about 12 km of the river area from Akhaura rail bridge to Naroi Noagaon almost dry up and parts of it, especially in the upstream of Ujanisher bridge, are used by locals for grazing.
Hawra, Jinji and Lohor rivers falling into the Titas carry huge sand and mud from the Indian hills where they originated. Five large beels, vast crops lands, and several streams and tributaries also add to the siltation of the Titas, making it lose much of the capacity to contain water.

Lots of shoals and chars (sandy land) have emerged, shrinking the river. It has changed the course at several points, causing erosion.Massive siltation in the river badly hampers navigation and irrigation. Once launches and boats plied the Titas in all of its areas but now launches ply Banchharampur-Nabinagar-Brahmanbaria route only.

As the river can no longer provide much water to the linked canals during the dry season, farmers have to count extra cost for irrigation.“We are to pay Tk 1800 for irrigation per 30 decimals of paddy field. At some places, farmers make temporary blocks across the river to store water for irrigation,” said freedom fighter Nurul Islam, also a farmer of Gukarnaghat village.

“Now launches have to ply slowly in the Titas that has lost much of its navigability. The fish stocks see decrease as their sanctuaries in the river are at stake,” said Md Shamsuzzaman, headmaster of Shalgaon Kalishima High School situated near the river.

When contacted, engineer Md Zakir Hossain, executive engineer of Water Development Board in Brahmanbaria, said, “As per suggestion of the water resource ministry, a Tk 637-crore project proposal, including dredging of the Titas River, has been sent to the high authorities. A four-month survey of the giant project is going on to conduct further study that will determine the future of the project.”


Sources : thedailystar



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