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Moulvibazar flood control project faces troubles

The contractor concerned of the Water Development Board (WDB) had to suspend the Tk 50-million work on the site.

A number of locals have feared that the district town may face severe flooding at the beginning of rainy season.

Meanwhile, WDB senior officials held a meeting with water resources ministry’s secretary Nazmul Ahsan in this regard on 13 March.

Officials informed that the WDB started the work as part of a Tk 9.96 billion (996-crore) project on 21 April in 2022 with a target to complete it by 3 June this year.

Work on some of the river bank protection at places was done but the trouble has arisen on 6.5 km from Shahbandar to the new bridge site area.

The contractor had to stop the work as the district administration and some locals claimed the land ownerships.

Sources informed that the 6.5 KM area is owned by the Roads & Highway (R&H), district administration and some locals.

A number of locals raised questions why the WDB opted for the riverbank protection work on the said area without acquiring land. Since acquisition is a lengthy process, they were supposed to have done it earlier.

The locals also alleged no authority took any action when some influential persons felled valuable trees from the aforesaid area last year.

Contacted, Moulvibazar WDB Executive Engineer Zabed Iqbal said a fur-member team formed at the high level meeting with the water resources ministry secretary would visit the site soon.

The progress is only 44.5 per cent as yet, he admitted. However, a proposal for one-year extension had already been sought, he added.

Contacted, WDB chief engineer (North East region) Khushi Mohan Sarker told this correspondent, “We’re trying to resolve the issue as soon as possible. He also admitted that there’s apprehension of flooding in Moulvibazar district town and other places if the riverbank protection and flood wall construction work is not completed before the start of the rainy season.

Originating from Kahoisib peak of Tripura, the Manu river passes through the various narrow gorges.

As it descends into the more level plain near Kailashahar, it becomes a broad sluggish stream with a meander course.

The river flows northwards until reaching Sylhet plains in Bangladesh.

It has entered Bangladesh through Moulvibazar district when it digresses to northwest and north to meet Kushiyara at Manumukh and finally draining to the Bay of Bengal.

It’s the longest river of Tripura with a stretch of 167km.