The rubber dam constructed at a cost of Taka 190 million (19 crores) at the Shuktigachha area on the Atrai River of Naogaon remained inoperative for the last three-year as many spots of the dam developed leaks and were torn down.
The dam was constructed to ensure crop production in the area and for fishing in the water of the river, but due to the in-operation of the dam, the farmers and fishermen of the area who depended on the dam for their crop production and the fishing turned utterly helpless.
Department of Local Government and Engineering of Atrai, however, started to repair the dam at a cost of Tk 21 lakh from May-6 and work of repairing two balloons have been completed and it would take one more week to finish the repair of another balloon.
It is learnt, farmers of Atrai could not cultivate the crop on both sides of the river Atrai during the dry season due to want of water. The fishermen of the area also failed to catch fish from the river during the same period.
To ensure irrigation and to hold the water of the river during the dry season, the government started to construct the rubber dam at the Shuktigachha area at a cost of Tk 19 crore on the river in 2012 and the construction work was completed in 2017.
After the construction of the rubber dam, local farmers and fishermen got the facility and irrigation and fishing for three-year but due to the use of low-grade materials, the dam developed leaks in various spots in 2020. The repairing work of the damaged rubber dam has been started for the last week and the farmers and fishermen will get benefitted after the completion of the repairing of the dam.
Local fisherman Sanjit Kumar informed, they are dependent on the river for their living but due to the drying up of the river for the last three-year, they are facing utter crisis. He mentioned, when the rubber dam was in operation they would catch huge fish from the river. He further said, the repair of the dam will benefit both the farmers and the fishermen of the area. Shahidul Islam, President of Shuktigachha Rubber Dam Water Management Cooperative Society informed, farmers and fishermen got benefitted for three years after the construction of the dam. The dam had facilitated irrigation facilities throughout 80-kilometre areas of five upazilas beside the river Atrai, Chhoto Jamuna and the Tulshiganga. The farmers and fishermen will again greatly benefit from the water of the dam when it is repaired.
Zonayet Alam, Upazila Engineer, LGED informed, due to leakage, it was not possible to operate the dam for several years. Now, the work of repairing of the dam has been started and it is hoped, the work will finish soon and farmers and fishermen will get benefits from the water the dam would hold again.
Tofael Ahmed, Executive Engineer, LGED, Naogaon informed, the work of repair of the dam could not be started last year as the water of the river did not dry up. At present, the water of Atrai has dried up and the repairing work of the dam at a cost of Tk 21 lakh has been started. He hoped the rubber dam will turn operative very soon and the farmers, as well as fishermen of the region, will greatly be benefitted by using the water of the river and fishing in the water of the river again.