There are bridges and culverts in different areas of Chatmohar upazila of Pabna but there are no canals. The bridges and culverts are visible but the canals are disappearing as one canal after another is filled. As a result, water cannot travel from one side of the road to the other. Although the bridges were built at a cost of lakhs of taka, they are losing their effectiveness.
At one time there were several canals on both sides of the Pabna-Baghabari road, including the Chatmohar section, the Chatmohar-Chaikola road. Due to the convenience of transportation, the government built bridges and culverts over the canals at different times to keep the road communication uninterrupted. But as the landowners on both sides of the bridge or culvert filled their land, the canals became non-existent even though the bridge-culvert stood. The locals have occupied and filled most of the canals on Chatmohar-Chaikola road. This is disrupting the normal flow of water.
It has been learned that the bridge has lost its normal functioning as the landowners on both sides of the bridge have filled up their land in several places including Uthuli and Haranmor areas on the Chatmohar section of the Pabna-Baghabari road. Several culverts have been constructed in the past few years in the areas of Dhankunia, Katenga and Chaikola on the road from Chatmohar Hospital Gate to Chaikola. The culverts are standing with their heads held high. Vehicles are moving over the bridges and culverts. Chaikola is about six kilometers from Dhankunia on the Chatmohar-Chaikola road. The Gumani river is on the east side of the villages of this six kilometer area and a few beels on the west side. In the past, rain water used to enter the beel through the canals connecting the beel with the river and at the end of the monsoon, the water would rise. All the canals have already been filled with soil at different times. A sluice gate has been constructed at Kinu Sarkar's Zola (canal) flowing through Natabaria and Charsengram of Bilchalan Union to control the water of the beels on the west side. Unnecessary bridges have been built over the canals connecting the beams with the Gumani river. No canal in this part of the road is active now. Apart from this, the land owners are filling the canals adjacent to some other road bridges.
Isharat Ali of Katakhali village said that a canal of Baral river from Sondava area of Natore zonal has flowed into Chiknai river through Katakhali-Bangalla. Almost the entire canal has been occupied and filled by unscrupulous people in various ways. A bridge was built over this canal in the eastern part of Katakhali Bazar long ago. Although the bridge is still standing, the canal has become non-existent due to filling on both sides.
In the context of adverse reactions to canal filling, Member Secretary of Chalanbil Raksha Andolan and Baral Nadi Raksha Andolan S. M Mizanur Rahman said, no one has the right to fill the unauthorized canal. It is the responsibility of the concerned administration to look into these. The administration doesn't see it very often. Due to the negligence of the administration, the landowners or the locals are filling the canals for personal gain. It is having an adverse effect on the environment. The flood water is not being distributed evenly. In some areas, waterlogging is occurring due to low rainfall.
In this regard, the Executive Engineer of Roads and Highways Pabna said in the context of filling the front of the canal on the Chatmohar section of the Pabna-Baghabari road, we work to keep the road communication system uninterrupted. Many times in some unethical ways some people fill the front part of the culvert or bridge. I will take necessary steps to find out. Regarding the culvert of Chatmohar-Chaikola road, he said, if the government ever removes the dams of the canals, then the flow of water will start again. The culverts have been built in those places with the distant future in mind.