Padma River erosion puts Paturia ferry terminal at risk


Manikganj, May 31: At least 10 government establishments, including the Patuaria ferry terminal in Manikganj, are at risk because of untimely erosion in the Padma River.Locals said three pontoons of the terminal may swept away anytime if prompt steps are not taken.

Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) and Water Development Board (WDB) sources said they have already started throwing Geobags to protect the terminal, UNB reported.

Locals blamed unabated sand lifting in dry season in areas adjacent to the Aricha River port area as the main reason for the erosion.

Visiting the area, this UNB correspondent found that about a two-kilometre stretch of the riverbanks have started eroding from Aricha’s Nihalpur to Paturia terminal.

Md Moin Uddin, executive engineer of Manikganj WDB office, said the water level of Padma River generally rises in late June but this year it has started increasing after cyclone ‘Amphan’.

The water level will come down to normal level again within a week, he said adding that they have already allotted Tk 60 lakh for throwing geobags which are being filled with sand right now.

“We’ll take steps to stop erosion permanently in this area,” he said.

In the meantime, erosion started near terminal number 3, 4 and 5 on the Paturia side.

Visiting the areas recently, Water Resources Secretary Dr Kabir Bin Anwar and BIWTA Chairman Commodore Golam Sadeq directed the Engineering Department to take immediate actions.

Anwar said the work has already been started and after this monsoon, sustainable protection measures will be taken under mega project from Jamalpur east to Tangail, Sirajganj and Manikganj area.

Paturia and Daulatdia terminals will also be restored when that project work starts, he added.

Visiting several areas in Shibaloy upazila, the UNB correspondent found Aricha River Port, Shibaloy Bandar Hat Bazar, local weather office, Picipole plant, Kashadaha Water Management Somobay Samity, BIWTA office complex, Zila Parishad’s bungalow including schools, mosques, and madrasas at risk of erosion.

Traders at Aricha River Port said they tried to stop erosion by piling bamboo but it was in vain.

If necessary steps are not taken right now, the whole river port will be lost to Padma River, they said.