Shoilmari: A river dead, livelihoods endangered

Dipankar Roy

The once mighty Shoilmari river in Khulna’s Batiaghata upazila can now only be called a river on paper. In just three years, it has been filled with silt.

The once 150-metre-wide river has now turned into a 3 to 4-metre narrow channel. Boats cannot sail there in low tide and people can cross its stretch by walking.

Experts say the lack of upstream flow, unplanned dams, and construction of sluice gates are responsible for the river’s death. Besides, after piling pillars for Rupsha Rail Bridge, the connecting river Shoilmari was silted within a short period.

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Waterways disappear as rivers die

World River Day today

Rashad Ahamad

Inland waterways, once the prime mode of transportation in Bangladesh, have declined fast as many rivers, canals, and other water bodies have disappeared in riverine Bangladesh over the past decades.

Due to geographical location, inland waterways were the main mode of transportation in Bangladesh, a country part of the largest delta in the world, but that mode has changed due to erroneous policies in communication development, experts said.

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