Millennium Post

Irrigation department to construct dam on Atreyee river

Irrigation department to construct dam on Atreyee river

BALURGHAT: Irrigation department will construct a dam on Atreyee river to continue the free flow of water without hindrance.

According to an official source, state Irrigation department has already initiated measures regarding the issue and delivered a letter to its counterpart in South Dinajpur to chalk out a plan to follow up the order as early as possible.

"We have been instructed to start the procedure of making a dam on Atreyee so that the natural flow of water can't be hindered. A high-level team from the state Irrigation department has already inspected the probable spots where the dam can be constructed. As preliminary process, we have started testing soil, water and sand of the river. The department will soon chalk out the draft of the entire plan and send the blueprint of the same to the higher authority," said Irrigation officer of South Dinajpur, Swapan Biswas.

Initially it was decided that the dam will build at Dangi or adjacent to area located in Saroj Setu in Balurghat. The officials, have, however, said the height or what type of dam will be built up is yet to ascertain.

According to him, a similar dam will also construct on Punarbhaba in Gangarampur subdivision.

It may be mentioned that the decision of building the dam on Atreyee has been taken after seeing the reluctant attitude of neighbouring Bangladesh government to resolve the long-standing problem of sharing water of the river, the lifeline of South Dinajpur people. According to a source, the natural flow of the river was restricted after Bangladesh government had constructed a dam at Mohanpur.

"We are against constructing dam in Bangladesh and have sent letters separately to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee mentioning the issue. Since the Bangladesh government had constructed the dam in 2013, the river runs dry during summer while incidentally they are channelizing excess water during monsoon causing flood," said nature activist of Balurghat, Tuhin Subhro Mondal.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has also raised the issue while talking to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina but no move comes from the neighbouring country's counterpart.

Vice-chairman of North Bengal Development Department, Arpita Ghosh said: "We have been forced to build up similar river dam here in South Dinajpur on Atreyee just like Bangladesh to control the water of it.

Thousands of fishermen and farmers depend largely on it. The flow of water has been artificially restricted by Bangladesh and thus creating problems for the local people here. Our Chief Minister's appeal was also not even entertained by the Union government with its Bangladesh counterpart. Recently we have talked to the state Irrigation department and taken decision of constructing a dam here."

Notably the 390 km long Atreyee originates in Siliguri, flows into neighbouring country before entering Balurghat and Kumarganj blocks in South Dinajpur and flows back again into Bangladesh.

PINAK PANI CHOWDHURY

PINAK PANI CHOWDHURY

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