Dhaka Courier

Number of concurrent projects aim to minimise risk and raise living standards in haors

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Tanguar Haor located in Sunamganj. Photo: Collected

The government has undertaken a number of projects for the infrastructural development of the Haor regions, alongside better flood management with the aim of improving living standards for the inhabitants.

The projects have been designed to also balance some of the risk that the farming community faces in the haors, where an entire season’s crop can often be destroyed in days due to its vulnerability to phenomena such as flash flooding.

One of the smaller projects by allocation is titled 'Haor area agricultural development project', involving Tk 28 crore through the Department of Agricultural Extension.

According to an official document, a 70-kilometre approach road will be built to allow farmers to transport the crop after each harvest to safe storage facilities under this project.

Besides, for Sunamganj and other districts where haors proliferate, there are two projects under Local Government Engineering Department aiming to develop the rural infrastructure.

These two projects are-- ‘Infrastructural and life standard development of Haor area’[1] and ‘Flood management and life standard development of Haor area’ [2].

The haors of Bangladesh, found mainly in Sylhet and Mymensingh, are unique wetland ecosystems that during the monsoon resemble vast inland seas.

Roads including community roads development, irrigation infrastructure development, Beel development, village defence activities, model village development, Haat development, landing ghaat development and income enhancing training are included in these two projects.

The government has already completed feasibility studies for constructing roads and bridges in haor areas, according to the document compiling all the projects aimed at the haors.

Project [2] has been undertaken to protect Boro rice and uplift the living standards of people through agricultural activities in 29 haors of Kishoreganj, Mymensingh, Netrokona, Habiganj, Brahmanbaria and Sunamganj.

There will be re-excavation of 461 kilometres of rivers and canals, 263 kilometres of submergible dam construction, redesign of 87 kilometres of submergible dams and redesigning of 84 kilometres of dams with full height under this project.

"The navigability will be increased through re-excavation of the rivers and canals and harvested crops will be carried through the river channels," the document stated.

It is also mentioned that in the course of the current fiscal (2019-20) the government plans to repair 634 kilometres of submergible dams in 11 upazilas of Sunamganj district. The estimated cost of this project is Tk 133.22 crore.

The government has taken up an initiative to construct 90 causeways - 85 in Sunamganj and five in Habigan - under yet another project for the haor regions, titled 'Causeway construction in haor areas for developing water drainage system and convenience of shipping'.

A causeway is a track, road or railway on the upper point of an embankment across "a low, or wet place, or piece of water."

Currently the project worth Tk 500.95 crore is awaiting approval from the ECNEC. In conjunction with some of the projects mentioned above, once implemented it is meant to benefit the farmers in transporting their crops during the monsoon.

Besides, there is a plan to construct 20 threshing and drying floors and 40 sheds (two each beside every threshing and drying floor) beside the dam of this project for convenience of paddy threshing and drying.

  • Number of concurrent projects aim to minimise risk and raise living standards in haors
  • Vol 36
  • Issue 44
  • DhakaCourier

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