Movement of tourist boats suspended in Tanguar Haor

Tahirpur Upazila administration authorities have banned the operation of tourist boats from Tahirpur to Tanguar Haor, due to heavy downpours reported in the district over the past two days.

A notification, signed by the managing director of Tahirpur Upazila, Md Raihan Kabir, said on Thursday that authorities expected flooding in the upazila due to heavy rains and a water rush upstream.

In addition, rivers and haors are overflowing with water and thunderstorms have been reported on several occasions. As a result, all tourist boats in the upazila of Tahirpur will be suspended until further notice from the authorities.

The Tanguar Haor (wetland ecosystem) in Sunamganj continues to experience catastrophic loss of livelihoods and biodiversity, threatening not only the extinction of many species and irreplaceable genetic variety, but also food supply, health, safety and tourism.

Located in the foothills of the Indian state of Meghalaya, the ecological balance of the district’s Tahirpur upazila is being disrupted over time as farms, croplands and water bodies continue to be buried under sand and gravel with every sudden landslide in the upper catchment areas.

Meanwhile, around 300,000 people from five upazilas in Sylhet district were stranded due to an upstream water rush and heavy downpours.

Low-lying areas, including homes, roads, educational institutions and upazila shops were flooded. There have been heavy rains since Wednesday morning, which has worsened the flooding situation.

More than 300 villages, educational institutions and roads in the upazilas of Companiganj, Gowainghat and Jaintapur were submerged. Forty-two shelters have been opened in Gowainghat for people affected by the floods.

Earnest A. Martinez