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BWDB officials grabbing billions from Kuakata beach project

Development 2023-06-09, 10:23pm


Kuakata Beach protection work in progess Junr 09, 2023.

Patuakhali: In the global recession, the government is trying to keep the wheels of the economy running by cutting development projects. At the same time, the BWDB officials are grabbing billions of taka from the beach protection project to prevent the erosion of Kuakata beach. Every year unplanned geo tube and geo bag filling work schedule is supposed to bring sand from outside and place it in the geo tube and geo bag, but in reality the geo tube is being filled with sand from the beach by installing dredger machine on the beach. And after receiving this complaint, the district administration has stopped the work.

It is alleged that the government has spent 8 crore taka in the last four years to protect the Kuakata beach, but the project is not working because the beach sand is being cut with the connivance of dishonest officials and employees of the Water Development Board. And this year too, the water development board has started the implementation of the project worth about two crore taka. Due to the installation of geo tubes and geo bags everywhere on the beach, every monsoon season the tourists who go to the beach are suffering from accidents due to these geo bags. Several tourists have also died.

Raju Ahmed, a local tourist businessman of Kuakata, said that since Wednesday morning, he suddenly saw 4 dredger machines sitting on the east side of the zero point of the beach, cutting the sand of the beach and filling it with geo tubes. They fill the geo tube with beach sand even though we forbid it.'

Ruman Imtiaz Tushar, president of the Tour Operators Association of Kuakata (Towak) said, 'Every year during the rainy season, the water development board actually undertakes the temporary project of geo tubes and geo bags in the name of beach protection, which is of no use to the beach, on the contrary, the beauty is being lost. There is a need to take a permanent project in Kuakata, so that the beach will be protected and the beauty will be increased. What is being done now is just a waste of government money and few people are benefiting financially.'

Khaled bin Alid, Water Development Board Kalapara Circle Executive Engineer. said, "I have also received news that beach sand is being cut and filled in Jeo bags. The work is currently closed. There is no opportunity to cut beach sand. Necessary measures will be taken in this regard.'

It is known that during the monsoon season, the waves of the stormy sea hit the sea shore. For this reason, the water development board has been installing sand-filled geobags and geo-tubes on the beach for the past few years. In the last 4 years, the Water Development Board

took the initiative to urgently protect the beach with beach sand by installing geo bags on both sides of the zero point of the beach at a cost of 8 crores taka. Out of this, in 2019, at a cost of Tk 1.9 million, geo tubes and geo bags were installed on the beach in a two kilometer area, which were washed away in the sea after a few days. In addition, in 2021, geo tubes and geo bags were installed in an area of one and a half kilometers of the beach at a cost of 3 crore 59 lakhs.

These Geo Tubes and Geo Bags are now invisible. Last in 2022, geobags and geo tubes were installed at a cost of Tk 2 crore 59 lakh in a two kilometer area of the beach, which has now turned into a trap for tourists. Currently, as these geo bags are scattered on the beach, they have created big holes on the beach and made it dangerous for tourists to walk. In such a situation, a temporary defense dam is being provided with geo-tubes and 37,000 geo-bags in an area of one and a half kilometers of the beach at a cost of 1 crore 97 lakh taka.

And although these geo bags and geo tubes are supposed to bring sand from outside and work with it, it is only limited to paper and pen.

Md. Liton, owner of the contractor farm  'Natural', denied the allegations and said, "This accusation is false, we are working by bringing sand from outside." Who is cutting sand from the beach with 4 dredgers? He could not answer such a question.

Kuakata Beach Management Committee President and Patuakhali DC Md. Shariful Islam said, 'I have already come to know about filling geo bags and geo tubes by taking sand from the beach. Legal action is being taken in this regard.' - Gofran Biswas Palash