About 500 houses in the Teesta basin were washed away while 20,000 families were marooned as the trans-boundary river swelled above danger level Wednesday morning after India had opened flood gates of Gajoldoba barrage on the river amid onrush of waters upstream and heavy rainfall.
The Teesta Barrage’s flood bypass embankment road connecting Rangpur and Nilphamari with Lalmonirhat was damaged disrupting the road communication among the three districts while vast areas of cropland went under water, said local officials concerned.
The Bangladesh Water Development issued a red alert in the Teesta Basin and ordered an evacuation of the people living in villages along the river banks.
‘We have issued red alert along the Teesta basin as the river is now flowing 70cm above the danger level. We have opened all the 44 gates of the Teesta Barrage to manage onrush of water,’ deputy divisional engineer of the board at Dalia Rashedin Islam said.
He said that they asked shoal inhabitants to evacuate to safer places through public announcement system, fearing further deterioration in the flood situation as India had already opened 54 gates of the Gajoldoba Teesta Barrage.
Just like any other year, India frequently released excessive water by opening the Gajoldoba barrage gates in 2021 as well, causing the river to cross its danger marks at least on seven occasions since June.
Low-lying areas under Patgram, Hatibandha, Kalignaj, Aditmari and Lalmonrihat sadar upazilas have been inundated with the Teesta flow still rising, said officials.
‘Many houses along the Teesta bank were washed away while many people were marooned as the Teesta swelled suddenly. We are in constant touch with the affected people,’ Lalmonirhat deputy commissioner Abu Zafar told New Age.
Goddimari Union Parishad chairman Abu Bakkar Siddique said that about 2,000 families were marooned in his area and houses of at least 13 families were damaged.
In the first week of July, the Teesta River in Bangladesh flowed above its danger level after India had opened the Gajaldoba barrage gates with the consequence that over one-third area in lower riparian Bangladesh had faced severe flooding for the next 22 days.