Damaged Bridge: 20 indigenous families face isolation
Heavy rains followed by strong current in a creek between two hillocks -- in Satchhari National Park under Chunarughat upazila of Habiganj -- severely damaged a walk bridge and cut off at least 20 families of Tripura community from markets and localities since last week.
Earth from the edge of the bridge -- which connects residents of the Tripura village with the rest of the world -- eroded away when incessant rain on early Tuesday morning caused an onrush of water in the creek, said residents of the village.
This correspondent during a visit to the area found a pillar of the bridge dislocated by strong current.
With no other option available, many of the residents were seen using the damaged bridge to conduct their day-to-day activities on the other side of the stream.
As many as four of the total 24 families that used to live in the village on the small hillock relocated to different areas already, as it has been facing severe landslides and erosion over the last four years, especially during the monsoon season, said Jonok Debborma, president of Greater Sylhet Tripura Development Society.
Chittaranjan Barman, headman of the village, said, "Our hill had been crumbling for four years. So far four families left after their houses were damaged. We made repeated demands to the government for saving the hill, but there has been no solution."
When it started raining last Tuesday, the bridge became inaccessible after earth from its side subsided and its pillar got damaged due to strong current, he added.
Mahmud Hasan, range officer of Satchhari National Park, said they informed the administration about the situation already.
Contacted, Chunarughat Upazila Nirbahi Officer Siddhartha Bhowmik said they made the bridge temporarily accessible by laying bamboo poles, as its reconstruction will not sustain during the rainy season.
Bangladesh Water Development Board has been made aware of the situation, he said, adding that the administration will build new houses if the villagers are willing to relocate.
Tofazzal Sohel, general secretary of Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon's Habiganj unit, said people's homes, roads and bridges -- as in the case of the Tripura village -- are being damaged by erosion primarily due to illegal sand lifting from natural waterbodies.