Dulal Tewari Rajapur (Jhalakathi) Correspondent : As the price of land in Jhalakathi’s Rajapur has skyrocketed, the land grabbers have started shouting for possession of the canal. The once fast flowing canals have become dead canals and culverts today due to occupation and filling by land grabbers. Apart from this, multi-storied structures have been built by occupying canals in different areas of the upazila. The Naikathi Hawladar Para canal of the upazila starts from Sandha river, passes through Lebubunia and joins Bhandaria big river. The canal is being filled in a fancy way using bamboo scaffolding and nets in the middle of the canal. Due to which thousands of acres of crop land are being lost and farmers are suffering. Another canal flows from Hawladar Para to Palerbari. About one and a half thousand acres of arable land is cultivated on that canal. Due to occupation and filling, the canal of about 30 feet has become 5 to 6 feet today. Due to canal filling, the yield of paddy has decreased by more than half due to non-drainage of water from crop lands. Construction work is underway in the middle of the canal adjacent to Lebubunia Bazar Bridge. Land grabbers are occupying the canal and constructing one building after another. Businesses are being set up in the Pakapul area by filling canals in a fancy way. Influential land grabbers are living in the Galua area building multi-storied houses in the canal.
It has been seen that the canal char is being fenced first and then it is being filled. Although the canals and ditches have been occupied by various tactics, no one has been able to raise his voice for fear of the influential people. However, despite the silence, there is a resentment against the administration in the conscious community. The Bharani canal, which flows through the central market area, is bridged in the bypass area from the back of the jail and flows towards Tulatala. Occupancy and pollution of Srihin and Gatihara canal is now almost dead. The canal is now fenced off due to occupation and occupation of bathroom sewer pipes, drains and rows upon rows of sewage.
Although there is little water at high tide, there is no water at low tide in this canal. That is why if there is a fire anywhere in the city, there is a water crisis. No water source could be found to control the fire. In addition, the canal and its small tributaries are filled with water, causing waterlogging in the city when it rains. There are allegations that the administration is silent even though it is obvious that the canal in the area adjacent to the BNP office in the Upazila Sadar is being filled with fences.
Although Rajapur Upazila Nirbahi Officer Nusrat Jahan Khan was contacted for two days to comment on the occupation and pollution of the canal filling, he avoided the issue by talking about various activities.
Asked about the occupation of the canal by Jhalokati Water Development Board Executive Engineer Md. Rakib Hossain, he said the canals occupied in Rajapur Upazila will be vacated in phases in collaboration with the district and upazila administration.