Exploring Hazard Risks and People’s Adjustment: A Study in the Downstream of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project
AuthorKhan, Md Fahim Azraf
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The development induced hazards (i.e. erosion) has become a matter of great concern in recent years. The Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project is going to be one of the biggest infrastructures in Bangladesh and is estimated to increase the annual growth by more than 1.0 per cent. But large development projects have some demerits too. Due to this massive construction process, the normal channel of the river has been altered and it has resulted significant erosion in the downstream of the Padma river. So a study has been undertaken to understand the hazard risk of the Uria Village which is situated at the downstream of the Padma river in Louhajang upazila. To investigate the changed social and economic status and the coping strategies of the people living in the area, a questionnaire survey has been done on 113 households. Moreover, change of land use pattern of the area has been determined using Landset. Finally, an overall comparison has been done on the present livelihood, economic status and condition of the houses of the households with the state before beginning of the construction of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge. It has been found that, water bodies have been decreased to a great extent but build up area has been increased almost 8 times between 2000 and 2020. The agricultural lands also decreased from 91134.8 acres to 15335.34 acres in the mentioned period. Due to erosions specially in the downstrem, these lands have been engulfed by the Padma river. On the other hand, 74 out of 100 people lost their lands where they used to live or cultivate. Only 15% of them have been able to find new jobs and livelihood. To adopt with the condition, 66% respondents are planning to relocate themselves to nearby villages or cities like Holudia, Madaripur, Goalibanda, Srinagar etc. which are situated in comparatively highlands. It has been recommended to provide small interest-free loans to the affected people from the administration so that they can adopted with the shocks of disasters and build new temporary houses to live in. Along the shore of the Padma, plantation of this Vetiver grass can mitigate the rate of erosion as well. Finally, after the end of construction, the current location of the Shimula Ghat should be changed as it has accelerated the rate of the erosion in the downstream.