Saturday, March 24, 2018 | ePaper

Now it is Indian barrages causing man-made floods in Bangladesh

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FLOOD situation in Bangladesh has never been such intense as this year. First it was the series of unprecedented pre-monsoon rainfalls to have started the floods, then came the heavy monsoon rainfalls aggravating the situation further. Now it is the opening up of Indian barrages which has resulted the swelling rivers to submerge at least five northern districts in the country.

Unanticipated on-rush of water from the upstream cross-border Indian rivers Teesta and Dharla are wreaking havoc on the nearby Bangladesh localities. Indian response in terms of blocking and releasing water has been shockingly ruthless and inhuman. In times of need the barrages are hardly opened, and when we are struggling to cope with our declining flood situation our biggest neighbour opens up their sluice gates for improving its situation at the cost of our peril.

Dozens of villages went under water in three districts overnight, namely - Lalmonirhat, Rangpur, Nilphamari, Kurigram and Jamalpur - as India opened some 54 sluice of its gates at Farakka and Gazaldoba barrages as water level rose there following two days of heavy rains in the northern part of Indian states of West Bengal. The immense pressure of the flowing water burst banks downstream, causing massive erosion at places while inundating fresh lands. Such cruel neighbourly treatment was not expected at least from India. Moreover, instead of opening all 54 gates at one go, the Indians could have opened a few based on prior consultation with Bangladesh government and the concerned water authorities. If were informed on time about the probable opening of the sluice gates, it would have been possible to alert the people living in the flood affected areas.

Of course the Indian water authorities have the right to do the needful to cope with deteriorating flood situations in that country, but the million dollar question is why should Bangladesh face the repercussion for it?

We expect our neighbour to realise that they are deliberately shifting a natural calamity into a manmade disaster and it should be stopped right away. Bangladesh is already facing colossal challenges to cope with the adversaries of the ongoing seasonal flood. Moreover, its existing resources and capabilities have almost run out. We are more than worried.

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