Flood control and irrigation project in haor region to get two-year extension

Dhaka,  Tue,  26 September 2017
Published : 12 Jul 2017, 21:41:48

Flood control and irrigation project in haor region to get two-year extension

Our Correspondent

SYLHET, July 12: Since there had been poor progress during the last few years, the ambitious project, taken up for early flood control and irrigation in 6 low-lying districts, known as haor region is about to get another extension of time. The second time extension for 2 years is awaiting approval, sources informed.

With a target to saving 289,000 hectares on about 52 haors in the districts Sunamganj, Sylhet, Habiganj, Moulvibazar, Netrokona and Kishoreganj districts, it was launched in the 2011-2012.

The ECNEC meeting on 12 April of 2011 approved the project 'Pre-monsoon Flood Protection & Drainage Improvement in Haor Areas'. As the term ended in June 2015, it was extended twice, even then the progress stood at only 21 per cent until June 2017.

Now it is being extended for 2 years more, an official informed. The total project cost is reduced with some minor changes. It stands at Tk 6840 million although it was Tk 6723.5 million.

Contacted, Superintending Engineer of the WDB, Sylhet zone Dr. Md. Mizanur Rahman told this correspondent recently that it is aimed at raising agricultural production capacity through works on 6 haors in Sylhet, 36 in Sunamganj, 5 in Netrokona and 2 in Moulvibazar, one in Habiganj and 2 in Kishoreganj district. On implementation, the project would save huge croplands, which go inundated during monsoon almost every year, he added.

Prime objective is to ensure protection of Boro crops against pre-monsoon flash floods and to increase navigability of the main rivers in the region, the official added, it would also improve capacity of the internal drainage canals.

The major components include, construction of 39 regulators, 32 kilometre compartmental dyke, cross dam at Matian Haor in Sunamganj, construction of 29 drainage outlets, 22 irrigation structures, 333 Km internal canal re-excavation and 40 Km Surma-Boulai river system dredging etc.

But, for fund shortage and indifference of the executing agency, the project's progress was very poor as yet.

Almost every year, natural calamities like early and flash floods, rolling down of water from the Indian hilly region, incessant rains etc cause damage to Boro crops on huge areas in the said districts. The low-lying region, known as haor zone of the country is the major Boro producing area. Every year, Boro paddy is cultivated on about 700,000 hectares in the said districts.

Due to absence of the appropriate and sustainable efforts to save the lone crop of the region, the poor and marginal farmers suffer extremely almost every year mainly due to seasonal flooding and others.

Editor : A.H.M Moazzem Hossain
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