RAJSHAHI, Aug 4: The Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA) has realised around Taka 159.05 crore as irrigation charge during the last 2015-16 fiscal, up by Taka 8.85 crore over the previous 2014-15 fiscal.
According to the sources concerned, over 7.92 lakh hectares including 2.97 lakh hectares of Irri-Boro lands were brought under irrigation facilities through operating 14,642 power-driven deep tube-wells (DTWs) in almost everywhere in the country's northwest region.
The irrigated lands have yielded around 34.32 lakh tonnes including 26.76 lakh tonnes of additional crops, especially food grain, in the region, especially in the the vast Barind tract, yearly.
Engineer Abdur Rashid, executive director of BMDA, told BSS that the region scored significant progress in the crop production sector, following the expansion of irrigation facilities along with supplying water from the re-excavated canals and ponds.
Even around 25 to 30 years back, only a single crop could be produced in the areas depending on the rainfall. But, at present, at least three crops are being harvested by dint of the expanded irrigation facilities.
Around 57.57 per cent area of the total cultivable lands of the region has, so far, been brought under the irrigation facilities. Prior to the inception of BMDA, the number of DTWs was only 500 in total irrigated area of about 5,000 hectares. At that time, the farmers had to depend on the mercy of rainwater for the cultivation.
Now, the number of DTWs has increased at 14,642 in the command areas irrigating 3.36 lakh hectares of crop lands round the year, benefiting more than 5.46 lakh farming families.
In addition to the irrigation activities, the BMDA has been implementing various need-oriented uplift programmes aimed at improving the socio-economic conditions by increasing crop production side by side protecting the region from adverse impact of the environment. It has already executed 30 projects under its command areas from 1985-86 to 2014-15.
Currently, 12 other projects are being implemented in different districts where around 80 per cent of the total work has been completed while the rest is expected to be executed in phases by June 2018.
Abdur Rashid mentioned that some of the projects had initially been executed with the government funds. But, now the BMDA has been implementing the projects with its own funds along with payment of monthly staff salaries since the last couple of years.
"We have revived and activated 4,053 non-functional deep tube wells owned by the Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC) in 13 districts of the region at a cost of Taka 198 crore in phases," he said.
Additional 24.48 lakh tonnes of food grain is expected to be produced in the region if the rest 5.83 lakh hectares of non-irrigated land were brought under irrigation.
Till last June, the BMDA installed 11,703 deep tube-wells and 144 low lift pumps, excavated 1658.77-kilometer canal, re-excavated 3037 khash ponds and constructed 14,989 water distribution infrastructure alongside 1267 drinking water supply installations and 100 dug wells and 698 cross-dams, which ensured a sound irrigation system.
In addition to imparting training to some 1.40 lakh farmers, around 2.53 crore saplings of various fruit, timber and herbal trees were planted in the command area to protect environment and meet the growing demands for fruits and timber in the region.
Meanwhile, implementation of the projects has yielded a significant success in crop production and making an ecological balance.
"The projects are creating jobs for the unemployed people and also ensuring various facilities along with an environment- friendly weather in the region," said the BMDA chief.
He mentioned that yearly crop production has been enhanced to 34.32 lakh tonnes from 7.56 lakh, crop intensity to 226 percent from 117 percent while annual rainfall rose to 64 inches from 54.99 inches. —BSS
Two youths arrested with arms in Natore
NATORE, Aug 4: Police arrested two youths with a pistol and four rounds of bullet from Sadar Police Station (PS) compound on Wednesday. At that time they came to the PS office in order to release a motor-bike.
The arrestees have been identified as Zahangir Alam Babu, a warrant convict, son of Abdul Bari of Bangajal area of Natore town, and the other is Abdul Galib Chowdhury, son of Latiful Islam Shamim of Natore Chowdhury House.
Police informed that they seized an unlicensed motor-bike from the town three days back. On Wednesday morning, the convict Babu and Galib came to the PS office to show the legal papers and documents of the seized motor-bike.
During that time, at one stage police suspected them and searched their body. Then police recovered a pistol and four rounds of bullet from their bodies and arrested them.
Nazrul Islam Jewel, officer-in-charge of the PS, confirmed the incident and said a case has been registered against them under Arms Act.
‘Terrorist’ held with firearm, bullets in Rajbari
RAJBARI, Aug 4: Police arrested an alleged terrorist along with a revolver and three rounds of bullet from Kachrondopur in Sadar
upazila of the district on Wednesday.
The arrestee was identified as Jonny Molla, 26, son of Kamal Molla, a resident of Char Kachrondopur village in Goalanda upazila.
Kamal Hossain, sub-inspector of the Detective Branch (DB) of police, said tipped off, a team of DB police and Sadar thana police jointly
conducted a drive in the area and arrested Jonny at about 4:00pm.
The law-enforcers also recovered a revolver and three rounds of bullet from his possession.
A case was filed in this connection.
Elderly man kills self in Jessore
JESSORE, Aug 4: An elderly man committed suicide at Birampur village of the district town on Tuesday night.
He was identified as Ajit Debnath, 92, of the village.
Family sources said Ajit had been suffering from abdominal pain for long.
Failing to bear the acute pain, he killed self by hanging from the ceiling of his room.
On information, police recovered the body and sent it to Jessore Medical College Hospital morgue for an autopsy. UNB
Minor boy drowns
PIROJPUR, Aug 4: A minor boy drowned in a pond at Satkashima village under Nazirpur of the district on Wednesday.
The deceased was identified as Rayahn, 4, son of Anwar Hosain Dakua of the same village.
Family and locals said, the boy was playing on the bank of a pond near his house. Suddenly, the victim slipped into the pond water and drowned.
electrocuted in Chuadanga
CHUADANGA, Aug 4: A 60-year old farmer was electrocuted in Dhutorhat village under Sadar upazila of the district on Wednesday afternoon.
The farmer was identified as Ali Ahammad, 60, son of late Khoki Mondal, resident of Dhutorhat village of the upazila.
Victim family and local sources said Ali Ahammad came in contact with a live electric wire while he climbed up a tree and was collecting wood for fuel beside a road near his house at 3:30pm; after electrocution, he fell down from the tree and died on the spot.
When contacted, Officer-in-Charge of Chuadang Police Station Tojammel Haque confirmed the incident.
An unnatural death case was filed with the police station in this connection.
Fisherman found dead in Chalan Beel
NATORE, Aug 4: Police recovered the body of a fisherman from Chalan Beel in Singra upazila of the district on Wednesday morning.
The deceased was identified as Abdul Matin Vuttu, 30, son of Moslem Ali, a resident of Teligram-Bamanhati area of the upazila.
Sherkol union parishad chairman Lutful Habib said 10/12 fishermen went to the Beel for catching fish last night. Suddenly, a storm hit the area and the boat carrying the fishermen capsized in the Beel.
Other fishermen swam ashore, but Matin drowned in the Beel.
Tk 1cr Indian medicine seized in Jessore
JESSORE, Aug 4: Members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), in a drive, seized Indian medicine and medical equipment worth about Tk 1 crore from a bus on Jessore-Benapole highway at Notunhat area here on Monday night.
BGB-26 Battalion sources said, a BGB team led by Nayek Subeder Md Kabir Hossen raided the bus and seized the items in an abandoned state.
Seizure list of the items was being prepared, BGB sources said.