SM Saiful Islam Kabir, Morelganj (Bagerhat) Correspondent: Bagerhat's Morelganj coastal upazila is changing day by day due to erosion of Panguchi river. New areas are being broken every day. Many institutions and roads including houses have gone under the river. In the last 50 years, the volume of the Panguchi river has tripled. Now the river is more than one kilometer wide. 3 and a half lakh people live here. During the high tide in the Barikhali area near the ferry port of Ward No. 1, the heart of the city, the members of these families forget to cook and fight with the water. At least five thousand families of Barikhali, Ferighat area, Kuthibari, Launchghat area, Sankivhanga, Solombaria riverside areas have been living in precarious condition for a long time due to lack of continuous piling.
Municipal Mayor SM Monirul Haque Talukder said that one-fourth of the main city is now left due to the erosion of the Panguchi river. Hundreds of homesteads, educational institutions, establishments and most of the Sadar market have gone under the river. However, soon the erosion protection work of the main city will start from the west bank of Panguchi river. It has been proposed to build embankments on the banks of this river since before the independence of the country, with polder no. 35/2. But even in 50 years, the dam of that dream has not been seen. At various times, the affected localities have done agitations and human chains. Ministers, MPs and town officials have also visited several times. The MP has given a DO letter demanding the embankment but nothing has been done. It can be seen from the ground that hundreds of bighas of cropland in Panguchi riverside villages are disappearing. In the last 40 years, only the upazila Sadar has moved to the river bed, food warehouse, sub-registry office, telephone office, Abdul Aziz Memorial Secondary School, main building of Esilaha High School, Dak Bungalow, Barikhali Union Parishad, Police Quarter, Anshar Maidan, Barikhali Government Primary School, Post Office, Sanitary Inspector's Office, Central Jame Masjid, Thana Jame Masjid, Sarvajanin Harishava Mandir, Crematorium Ghat and many institutions and streets. Presently at risk are - Gabtala, Kanthaltala, Barikhali, Ferighat, Kumarkhali, Sanyasi, Sanakhali, Ghashiakhali, Sonakhali, Phulhata including 20 village community clinics have been abandoned. Homesteads, unpaved roads are disappearing. Many families have lost their homes due to erosion and are moving to the city or elsewhere. The community clinic is also facing collapse. 30 riverside families are in fear. Gabtala Government Primary School cum Cyclone Shelter, Mosque, Khaulia and Gabtala Bridge are now under threat. According to local sources, Sidor, Ayala, No steps have been taken to permanently protect any collapsed embankment after Yas. In July 2017, the local member of parliament Dr. Mozammel Hossain visited the affected areas. At that time, he issued a DO letter for a two and a half kilometer embankment from Gabtala towards Pasurbuniya. In May this year, local member of parliament Advocate Amirul Alam Milon visited the erosion affected area. At that time, when he visited the riverside areas of Barikhali, Bahrbunia, Ballibunia and Panchkaran Union of Morelganj upazila, he said that the river management activities will be started within the next 2 months. Roads will be rebuilt. Embankment will be constructed from Sanyasi to Ghashiakhali. During the visit, thousands of women and men on the banks of the river chanted slogans for the Member of Parliament Advocate Amirul Alam Milan. Locals said, 'I don't want relief from the Prime Minister, I want a sustainable embankment'. At this time, Water Development Board Bagerhat Deputy Assistant Engineer. Mahamudunnabi, Upazila project implementation officer. Roknuzzaman, Upazila Jubo League Joint Convener Advocate Tajinur Rahman Palash, Municipal Jubo League Convener Asaduzzaman Bipu and other leaders and his companions were there. Union Chairman Mahmud Ali said that hundreds of families have lost their homes and become scattered. 50 acres of land collapsed. Till now only 1 km piling has been done to protect the city. Durable embankment is required to protect 20 villages including Morelganj town from the erosion of floodplain. For 50 years only visits and letters have been going on. No work done. Water Development Board Bagerhat District Executive Engineer Masum Billah said that a new tender has been issued and a contractor has also been found. The river bank protection work of Morelganj municipal area will start in full swing only after the end of the monsoon season. however,