The river Padma in Bangladesh is rising dangerously after India opened all gates to the Farakka Barrage to stop one of its states from flooding. The water level may cross danger level in the next 24 to 28 hours, Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) officials have said.India opened Farakka’s 106 gates to save Bihar from flooding.At Rajshahi point, Padma has risen by 12 to 13 centimetres each day during the past week, BWDB Administrator Mir Mosharrof Hossain told bdnews24.com.Padma, the main distributary of the Ganges, enters Bangladesh from India near Chapainawabganj and meets the Jamuna River in Goalonda, Rajbarhi.
The city of Rajshahi, a major metropolitan in the country’s north, sits on the banks of the mighty river.Flowing 120 kilometres ahead, the consolidated stream then meets the Meghna River at Chandpur before flowing into the Bay of Bengal.The Farakka Barrage, which stands across the Ganges River in the Indian state of West Bengal, roughly 16.5 kilometres from the border with Bangladesh near Chapainawabganj, has been the cause of a long-standing dispute between Bangladesh and India.Bangladeshi experts and environmental activists have criticised the barrage, saying it affects biodiversity in Bangladesh by cutting off the water supply.According to the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre, Padma’s waters increased by 12cm at Pangkha point, 11 centimetres at Rajshahi point and 13 centimetres at Hardinge Bridge point until 9am Friday.The figures, however, are still below the danger level by 17, 22 and 21 centimetres at the three points respectively.Engineer Mir Mosharraf Hossain said: “The water level may cross the danger level (which is 18.50 centimetre) by Saturday night if the flow continues at the same speed.”The embankment protection dam of the river has already been damaged in some areas in Rajshahi.“Under the town protection dam in Rajshahi’s Bulonpur area, it has already been damaged at four points, inundating some low-lying areas and homesteads,” said Mir Mosharraf.Kushtia WDB Executive Engineer Noimul Haque also said the river will cross the danger level within 24 hours if the rise continues.He said the river Gorhai, a runoff of the Padma, is also rising. Efforts are on to reinforce the town protection dam. Stones and sandbags are being dumped to stop the slide, he added.A bulletin of the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre says the water level might continue to rise until Goalonda for the next 72 hours while it may rise for another 24 more after crossing Goalonda.