Cold could harm Boro seedlings

Met office forecasts fog for couple of days more

Crops, especially, Boro seedlings may suffer from cold injury in the chilling weather coupled with thick fog while potatoes from blight if farmers do not take extra caution, agronomists say.

The cold wave and dense fog would linger for another couple of days, according to the Met office.

“Covering Boro seedbeds with polythene sheets would save the crops from cold injury,” Shamim Ahsan Bhuiyan, an official of Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD), told The Daily Star. The country has experienced unusually foggy climate this winter, he added.

The biting cold sweeping across the northern region has continued to disrupt normal life. The elderly and children belonging to poor families are suffering immensely.

Three children died of pneumonia yesterday at Lalmonirhat Sadar Hospital, said Civil Surgeon Jahangir Alam Sarkar.

Most of the inhabitants in 95 chars in the Teesta and Dharla rivers are left jobless since nobody in this cold is hiring them to work in crop fields. They do not have money to buy food, let alone warm clothes.

Day labourer Shamsul Islam, 65, from Char Kalmati in the Teesta river under Lalmonirhat sadar upazila, said they were yet to get warm clothes from government or non-government sources.

The weather would remain unchanged in the northern parts of the country for a few more days, said Abdur Rauf, duty forecasting officer of the BMD.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) is facing a huge financial loss as vessels did not ply across Mawa-Kawrakandi route for 102 hours and Paturia-Daulatdia route for 63 hours in the last 15 days, reported our Munshiganj and Manikganj correspondents

The 102-hour suspension of Mawa-Kawrakandi ferry service inflicted a loss of more than Tk 76 lakh, said Sirajul Haque, manager of BIWTC in Mawa side.

In Paturia-Daulatdia route, BIWTC earns over Tk 35 lakh per day, said Ashrafullah Khan, manager (commerce) of Aricha side in BIWTC. Therefore, the loss for 63-hour suspension of ferry service is estimated at about Tk 91 lakh, he added.

Amid such a situation, lack of public toilets, food, drinking water and security added to the sufferings of the people stranded.

Ferry services on Mawa-Kawrakandi route resumed around 3:30am yesterday after a two-hour disruption due to dense fog, our Munshiganj correspondent reported.

Five passengers in the meantime were injured as Chandpur-bound MV Rofrof collided with Dhaka-bound MV Juboraj in Gozaria in the Meghna river.

The vessels did not capsize, local people said. At the time of the accident, MV Juboraj was kept anchored as the master was unable to operate it in thick fog.

Source: The Daily Star

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