The apathy of the water resources department in repairing an RCC protection wall along the river Longai at Nilambazar in Karimganj district has triggered fury among residents.
Nilambazar falls under Karimganj South constituency, around 72km from here. The 700m protection wall, which has been in a shambles over the years, serves as a guard to several villages, including Nilambazar, Bairagichak, Farampasha, Jatrapur and Ishwarsree, among others.
Speaking to The Telegraph on Wednesday, the president of Model NGO, Liyakat Hussain, and its general secretary Faruque Ahmed said the protection wall, constructed around 26 years ago, has been in an abysmal condition because of lack of repairs. Major cracks have appeared and iron rods and cement have started protruding out of the wall, they said.
The wall guards 20-25 villages in and around Nilambazar and that the areas will be swallowed up by the Longai if the wall is not repaired soon. “A catastrophe is waiting to happen,” Hussain said. “Though the matter was brought to the attention of the authorities concerned and local MLA Aziz Ahmed Khan in the past, no step has been taken till date.”
Aziz Ahmed Khan was not available for reaction over the matter.
Sources said Achinta Roy, executive engineer of Karimganj water resources department, and assistant engineer Rupam Das had inspected the protection wall on Tuesday afternoon. BJP leader Sipra Goon had accompanied them.
Local residents told them (after the officials arrived for the inspection) that the wall’s pitiable condition has sparked panic among residents of Nilambazar and its nearby areas. Moreover, because of heavy rainfall in the past few days, the Longai is swollen and this has only made matters worse, they said.
Longai, one of the three major rivers in Karimganj district, flows through the northern and southern parts of the district and a portion of Ratabari constituency.
The residents said apart from the protection wall, there are four sluice gates in the river and they, too, are in a bad shape.
They alleged that though crores of rupees are allocated by the government for repairs of dykes and protection walls, the Longai’s protection wall remains unchanged. The authorities concerned were approached many times regarding the matter, but no step to repair the wall was taken, they rued.
Achinta Roy told the residents that an estimate for repairs of the protection wall would be prepared and sent to the higher authorities concerned and all necessary measures would be taken in this regard, sources said.
Roy could not be reached over phone for his comments.