Occupied by illegal occupants, the river Chakirpashar in Rajarhat upazila of Kurigram became almost non-existent. After a three-year-long movement of the Chakirpashar River Protection Committee, re-excavation work has started by reclaiming lands of the Chakirpashar River from the grabbers.

The agriculture and environment of the region will benefit due to the revival of the river.

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Members of the Chakirpashar River Protection Committee said that the administration has taken steps to protect the Chakirpashar River after they held several programmes to press home their demand to revive the river.

They said the news of the excavation of the river has brought relief among the locals.

Under the supervision of Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC), the excavation work of this river is being carried out at a two kilometre stretch at the cost of Tk 24 lakh.

Altaf Hossain, executive engineer of BADC, said the excavation work will be carried out from Angadhoa Bridge of Rajarhat union of Rajarhat Upazila to Naladanga Bridge of the same union on the south. “Currently, BADC has taken up a project to excavate the river, but later the Water Development Board will excavate and maintain the rest of the river,” he said.

“The excavation work started on May 4 and will be completed before the monsoon,” he also said.

The excavation of the river will save a large area of land from water logging and help the farmers cultivate crops all year round.

Khandaker Arif, convener of the Chakirpashar River Protection Committee, said “Our movement has made the excavation of the river possible, which remained occupied by grabbers for a long time.”

About 40,000 farmers and fishermen at 10 villages in the area will directly benefit from Chakirpashar River, he said. 

Dr Tuhin Wadud, co-ordinator of the Chakirpashar River Protection Committee, said that if the river is excavated successfully, the water-logging problem of about 25,000 acres of paddy land will be solved. If there is water in the river all year round, there will be fish. As a result, agriculture and biodiversity will be developed in this region.

Kurigram Deputy Commissioner (DC) Rezaul Karim said that out of 306 acres of land in the Chakirpashar River, about 165 acres are occupied by 140 grabbers.

This is a long-term problem. Administrative measures have been taken to keep the river flowing and free the river from the clutches of the grabbers.

The Water Development Board has been informed to undertake a project to carry out excavation work at various places along the river and BADC is already implementing an excavation project, the DC also said.

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