The Meghna River protection dam in Kamalnagar upazila of the district is now under threat due to its bank erosion, spreading panic among villagers.
Locals said it might disappear in the river as some 200 meters of the dam have already been washed away due to strong current for the last two days.
They alleged that the poorly-built dam collapses frequently as there were widespread irregularities in its construction — from the beginning to the end.
The authorities concerned have built the one-km river protection dam at Matabbarhat in Kamalnagar upazila spending Tk 48.11 crore, according to sources at Bangladesh Water Development Board, Laxmipur.
The dam construction work was awarded to Dockyard and Engineering Work Limited, but it was built by another company, Western Engineering. Allegations are there that they had started the construction work with substandard sands and geo-bags.
Later, the construction work was suspended following demonstrations by the local people against the use of substandard materials.
During a recent visit to the dam area, the UNB correspondent found that some blocks on both sides of the dam went into the river due to its strong current, allowing water to pour into the neighbouring areas.
Besides, huge gaps were created between two blocks of the dam which made it weaker.
Meanwhile, the residents of 10 villages in the vicinity of the river— Matabbarnagar, Ludhua, Shaheberhat, Kadirpanditer Haat, Patwarihat and Charfalkaon—in Kamalnagar upazila—are passing days in fear that erosion by the river may take a serious turn.
Locals claimed that the dam had collapsed five times as the contractor did not follow the guideline as advised by the authorities concerned.
Mohammad Abdullah Al Mamun, MP of Laxmipur-4 constituency, said the second phase works on the dam will start soon as a Tk 148-crore project now awaits approval.