Padma is the Most Ruptured River in the World According to NASA Research
From 1911 to 2015, a total of 1,749 sq. Km of the Padma eroded, the silt has formed an area of 1,316 square kilometers. Mawa, Shariatpur, and Chandpur have suffered the most due to weak and immature soil. This year, for 105 years, the people on the banks of Padma have suffered the most.
In 2018, NASA, the U.S. space agency, reported that between 1967 and 2017, more than 66,000 hectares (about 256 square miles or 660 square kilometers) lost to the erosion of the Padma, which is about two and a half times the size of Dhaka city. The report identifies the Padma as the most eroded river in the world.
And last December, the world’s leading science journal Springer Nature published another research report on the 105-year-old Padma erosion.
From 1911 to 2015, 1,749 square kilometers on both sides of the Padma have eroded. And 1 thousand 316 square kilometers have been formed by siltation. In other words, the people on the banks of the Padma lost 433 sq. Km of land in the game of breaking & building at this time.
Ashraf Dewan, a teacher at Curtin University in Australia, who led the Springer Nature study, told the Prothom Alo that the waters of two large river basins, the Ganges and the Brahmaputra, flow into the Bay of Bengal through a narrow river-like the Padma. And the branch of the Padma from Mawa to Shariatpur is almost 200 years old.
And the terrain on both sides of it is made up of very immature and weak soil. As a result, when the water flow increases during the monsoon, the erosion rises there. And how isolated measures are taken every year in different places to deal with the erosion of such a river is also not the right method.
Efforts should be taken to prevent erosion by considering the overall flow of water and silt in the river and the soil structure of the two banks.
The Water Development Board (BWDB) has already spent about Tk 50 crore to stop the erosion of the Padma this monsoon temporarily.
In Shariatpur alone, erosion is not going to be managed even after spending Tk 10 crore. In the meantime, about eight kilometers of the district has eroded.
When asked, Emeritus Professor Ainun Nishat of BRAC University said in the first light, Padma is one of the most dynamic rivers in the world. It is not possible to predict where and when it will erupt, especially in the rainy season.
However, an overall plan needs for the management of this river. At the same time, we have to be more careful in building infrastructure on the banks of the river and both banks.