BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Saturday demanded the government to immediately declare the flood-hit areas as 'disaster zones' and provide all the affected people with adequate relief materials.
Speaking at a council of BNP’s three wards at Bhatara under Dhaka North City unit, he also accused the government of remaining busy with the Padma Bridge inauguration amid untold suffering of flood-hit people, reports UNB.
“Floods are ravaging the country. Vast areas starting from Sylhet-Sunamganj to northern Nilphamari, Lalmonirhat, Kurigram were submerged by floodwaters,” he said.
Referring to media reports, the BNP leader said the water levels of major rivers, including the Padma, Meghna and Jamuna are increasing flooding in many areas as the Indian authorities opened all the gates of the Farakka Barrage. “The floodwater is destroying crops, houses, cattle and other valuables of people.”
“We demand that these areas should be declared as disaster zones immediately and relief be provided to the people of these areas without any delay. The government is busy with a festival during this difficult time. They are so busy with the inauguration of the Padma Bridge that they have no time to look at the welfare of people and public sufferings,” Fakhrul said.
He said the country can witness floods as an adverse impact of climate change. “But it’s the responsibility of the government to prevent that flood and reduce the losses.”
The BNP leader bemoaned that the government could not sign an agreement with India on the sharing of waters of the common rivers in over a decade.
“It has even failed to conclude the Teesta water-sharing agreement,” the BNP secretary-general said.
“When they (India) suddenly open the gates of Farakka barrage, it is not possible to tackle the rush of water. Sylhet, Sunamganj and other regions are now facing this problem. This is proof of the knee-jerk foreign policy of this government and its negligence towards people,” Fakhrul observed.
He also alleged that many dams, bridges and roads--constructed in different haors and other regions in an unplanned way that makes flooding worse--were damaged due to corruption.
The BNP leader called upon the government to take proper steps to prevent floods and reduce public suffering in the flood-prone areas.
Fakhrul said the government has started singing a new song about an untoward incident meant for foiling the inauguration of the Padma Bridge.
He asked the government to clearly tell the nation about who are hatching that plot. “We always see you (govt) used to talk about untoward incidents repeatedly and carry out such incidents and then shift the blame onto BNP. This is your character and this is your principle.”
The BNP leader also slammed that government for what he said was its failure to lower the prices of all essential commodities and utility services.
“I saw a report in the newspaper that the price of electricity will be enhanced further while the gas prices have been raised. Why are you in government? You’re cutting money from people's pockets and amassing huge wealth through corruption,” he said.
Fakhrul opposed a proposal from the Dhaka University senate for increasing the tuition fee for the students from well-off families, saying it is a plot to turn the country’s prestigious premier university into a private one. “We denounce this proposal.”