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Bangladesh: Titas turns into a canal in Brahmanbaria June 11,2019   |  Source: Environment

The river Titas described in Adwaita Mallabarman's 'Titas Ekti Nadir Naam' or 'A River called Titas' - later made into a film by Ritwik Ghatak - has undergone a sea-change in reality over the years, and is now a narrow canal due to illegal occupation and a navigability crisis.The book cover and the contents of the novel evokes images of a mighty river and busy fishermen. However, the chars or river islands have turned the river into grazing land in some spots, changing this image radically.

The authorities have said dredging is going on to revive the river and soon an eviction drive will be taken up against illegal grabbers. Visiting Ananda Bazar, Medda, Shimrail Kandi and Ujanisha, the UNB correspondent found local influential people have illegally built many structures on the river banks, including several high-rise buildings, narrowing the river.

Locals said they use to wake to the fishermen's cries at dawn. Now the river-based businesses, agriculture and livelihood are all under threat, they added. Fisherman Robi Das said, "Titas is not a river anymore as it was in the past. Due to less water, we cannot catch enough fish to earn a living." Another fisherman, Kajol Das said, "I could catch fish whenever I cast my net, now we rarely get any fish from Titas."

Siraj

 

© Prothom Alo 1998 - 2019

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Years in Support of Small Scale Fishworkers (1986 - 2018)