Speakers at a human chain in Kuakata municipal area placed a five-point demand to recover Kachchapkhali Canal from encroachers to protect thousands of acres of cropland and houses in several villages from waterlogging.
Md Shahjahan Mridha, convener of the Kachchapkhali Canal Restoration Committee, at the human chain held in front of Kuakata Press Club recently, said a vested quarter has been fish farming for several years since constructing a dam on Kachchapkhali Canal.
People who have been given settlement of the land are not occupying the canal. The canal is occupied by an influential quarter, he alleged.
"The waterlogging of thousands of acres of cropland and houses, in the areas for fish farming in the canal by the dam, is affecting the people of Kachchapkhali, Azimpur, Dovasi Para, Nabinpur, Panjupara and Thanju Para villages," Shahjahan Mridha said.
At the human chain, the committee gave a memorandum to local MP Md Mohibbur Rahman, listing its demands.
The demands include that: the boundaries of Kachchapkhali canal be surveyed, mapped, and enrolled in official records; the previous image of the canal land not be changed; the images of land that have already been changed be corrected; the release of flowing water of the canal be arranged for and a sluice gate or culvert in a dam be installed, after three dams are cut; a road for the movement of people during construction of the culvert be arranged; and the canal be dug so that farmers can use its water for irrigation.
At the programme, MP Mohib said that he would be by the side of the speakers and asked the Kuakata municipal mayor to resolve the problems.
Mayor AH Barek Mollah promised to construct a culvert within the next two months to keep water flow in the canal normal.
Meanwhile, another group led-by municipal councillor Panna Hawladar complained to the MP about the canal restoration committee for obstructing the expansion work on roads for four months.