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Teesta drying up in Rangpur

Our Correspondent | January 17, 2018 00:00:00

RANGPUR, Jan 16: The mighty Teesta river, flowing through greater Rangpur district, is now drying up. With the beginning of the dry season the river becomes almost dead.

Scores of shoals have emerged on the bed of the river due to lack of water since long. Many makeshift houses have been constructed and different kinds of crops are being cultivated on the riverbed in this way Teesta has lost its splendid past.

Some elderly people living beside the river Teesta said that even few years ago a good number of big sized boats with goods used to ply in the river. But this scenario is changed now. Presently the mainstream of the river cannot be seen anywhere except a narrow line visible only in some places.

While visiting some areas in Kawnia upazila along the Teesta this correspondent found it is all sand on the bed as far as the eyes could see.

The river hardly remains navigable except in the monsoon. On the average it remains non-navigable for six to seven months during the year. Bullock carts are moving and children are playing cricket and football on the dried up riverbeds. Businessmen and traders of the region are incurring huge losses.

Asadul Mia (50), a fisherman who lives near the river Teesta at Kawnia upazila in Rangpur district said hundreds of fishermen who used to earn their livelihood by fishing in the river are leading a miserable life due to paucity of water as well as fish in the river. Many fishermen have also switched to other professions leaving their ancestral profession as they are no longer finding fish to earn to live he added.

According to sources, the underground water levels have been receding fast endangering irrigation in the northern region of the country. The farmers apprehended that the water levels of the major rivers, including Teesta, might fall further creating devastating environment during the coming dry season.

Environmentalists opined that reasonable sharing of Teesta water is the only way to improve the ecological situation in the area.

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