I’m in Vasaili, I’m in Dubaili … I don’t understand the depths of the river. No cool, no shore, Niko crossed the river. Drive carefully on my broken boat …. Akul Dariyar Bujhi Kul Naire —. ‘In this riverine country, many such songs have been written and sung around the river. But those heart-wrenching songs and the roar of the river are now only memories. The Bhatiali song and the splendor of the river have been lost in the evolution of time. Most rivers now have cool, shoreline. Not just water and waves. Cotton boats do not come and go across the river.
The beauty of the river is nothing today. Everything seems to be lost. Over the years, the sediment has lost its navigability and the water has become empty. Similarly, the name of a river is Narsunda. The Pakundia part of the river Kharsrota, which once flowed through Pakundia upazila of Kishoreganj, has now become arable land. Farmers are cultivating paddy.
According to the district office and water development board, Narsunda is one of the rivers in Kishoreganj district. It originated from the Brahmaputra river flowing in the adjoining Hossainpur upazila, passed through the Charkaona area of Pakundia upazila and turned eastwards to form another river. This is Narsunda. The river, which is about 60 km long, flows through different upazilas of Kishoreganj district and joins the Dhanu river of Itna upazila. From this river another branch emerges from Charkaona area of Pakundia upazila and flows into the Brahmaputra river of Pakundia upazila by the side of Tekerbari of Charkursha village through Jangalia and Charfaradi union. This part of Pakundia is about 6 km long. The navigability of the river was good then, it was fast flowing.
According to the locals, sailing boats used to ply on this river. The sailors used to sing in Bhatiali tunes. Traders used to load different goods on ships and take them to different areas by river. At that time the river was full of various species of native fish including Rui, Katal, Mrigel, Shoal, Boal, Gajar, Shing, Magur. Hundreds of people came from different areas to catch fish. The fishermen of the area depended on this river. The dolphin used to play habudubu. Even before independence, the depth of this river was 20-25 feet. This splendor of the river was lost about 20-25 years ago. The river has completely filled up in the whirl of time. Farmers have been cultivating Erie-Boro paddy for almost a decade now. About eight kilometers of this river in Pakundia upazila has disappeared long ago. Somewhere houses have been built on the banks of the river. The name of this river is disappearing from the map of Pakundia day by day. However, it was through this river that Ala Bir Isha Khan (1529-1599), the chief masnad of Bar Bhuiyan in Bengal, sailed from Egarasindur in Pakundia to Jangalbari fort in Karimganj.
Aminul Islam, principal of Charteki Girls School and College in the upazila, said, “I crossed the river by boat for a short time and studied at Charfaradi Government Primary School and later at Pakundia Degree College from 1982-90.” At that time the river was in full swing. At that time a large number of native species of fish including boal, shoal, carrot, shing, magur, rui, katal could be found in the river. Now the fish is far away due to lack of water, the river has become arable land. Therefore, I urge the concerned authorities to re-excavate the Narsunda river and restore its navigability.
Md. Yasin Khan, Deputy Assistant Engineer, Kishoreganj Water Development Board (PWB), said, “Excavation of inland small rivers, canals and reservoirs in 64 districts has also been included under the ‘Phase II Project’.” The excavation work will start as soon as the project is passed.