Teesta water level halves in a day

24 April 2014 bdnews24.com


Water levels in the mercurial Teesta river have dramatically risen and fallen with a span of a few hours.
On Wednesday, the water level dropped by almost half of what it was after showing a sharp rise on Tuesday.
The flow rate had abruptly risen to 3,006 cusec on Tuesday when the BNP set out on a 'long march' demanding a fair share of the river water.
But the flow, coming into Bangladesh from India, began ebbing from Wednesday morning.
The water level was 1,242 cusec at around 12pm, Teesta Barrage Sub-Divisional Engineer Moin Uddin Mandal told bdnews24.com.
He said the level was at 3,050 cusec even on Tuesday. "(We) diverted the full flow to the irrigation channels by closing all barrage gates as the water level fell today."
That reduced the level to less than a foot near at the Teesta railway and road bridges at Kaunia point.
Joynal Abedin, a shopkeeper near the railway bridge, said, "I did not see Teesta's condition like this ever before in my life."
Dalia Water Development Board Chief Engineer Mahbubur Rahman told bdnews24.com an average of 5,000 to 6,000 cusecs water was needed, but in the dry season it usually went down to 450-500 cusec.
But on April 13, the water levels went up to 1,500 cusec.
Throughout Monday, this level was 830 cusec. "About 3,006 cusecs flowed into the river from India's Gazaldoba barrage (on Tuesday)." Meanwhile, BNP acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir attributed the swell in Teesta to the success of the party's long march.
The BNP has been blaming India for the water crisis and low levels in the Teesta, putting Boro farmers in Nilphamari, Rangpur and Dinajpur districts in dire straits.
The water level was less than half of what it was on Tuesday when the BNP held a rally at the Teesta Barrage Point around 12pm on Wednesday, the last day of their long march.

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