Bagerhat people benefit from river dredging
BAGERHAT, Oct 19: Several lakh people of six upazilas in the district have got different benefits including relief from water-logging in the rainy season for dredging 93 rivers and canals.
Owners of shrimp enclosures and growers of vegetables and paddy have got back life. Production of different crops has gone up. Besides, locals and traders are happy as the cost in goods transportation has declined.
Official sources said different rivers and canals in Bagerhat were dredged back in '80s. Later those became filled for unplanned fish farming, grabbing and construction of illegal structures. As a result, these areas remained water-logged during the rainy season, causing immense sufferings to people.
According to Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB), to solve this water-logging, a project worth Tk 250 crore has been undertaken to dredge 10 rivers and 129 canals under the Prime Minister's priority project.
Of these, 93 rivers and canals have already been dredged. After the rainy season, other rivers and canals will be dredged.
Five rivers including Madhumati, Bhairab, Chitra and Morachitra and about 170 km of 55 canals have been dredged at Tk 80 crore in Bagerhat Sadar, Fakirhat, Mollahat, and Chitalmari upazilas.
Five rivers and 310 km of 74 canals in Rampal Upazila, Mongla Upazila's Daudkhali and Mandartala have been dredged at Tk 170 crore.
A farmer Nandabala of Chanderhat Village in Mollahat Upazila said, "Now we can carry paddy, fish and vegetables by boats at low cost. Earlier water would be stranded. Now water is draining out. Our long dream has come true. We are delighted."
Others Seema Majumder and Basanti said, "Our houses and lands would remain water-logged before dredging the Bhairab River. This year water-logging was not created. Now we are free from trouble. We have got back life like that of rivers and canals."
Chairman of Mulghar Union Parishad in Fakirhat Upazila Advocate Hitler Goldar said, "There have been huge developments for the dredging of rivers and canals. Greater developments have happened in shrimp industry and agriculture sector.
Farmers are getting water timely for dredging of Bhairab and Chitra rivers and different canals. Crop yielding has been good. Heavy rain did not create water-logging in the canals. Shrimp enclosures did not face damage."
Deputy Divisional Engineer of Bagerhat BWDB Md Rakib Hossen said, "We had to face problems in dredging rivers and canals as many illegal installations had to be demolished. Despite that we are continuing the priority project's work in collaboration with all. Forestation along canal banks is also continuing."
BWDB's Bagerhat Executive Engineer Md Nahiduzzaman Khan said, after the rainy season is over, other rivers and canals will be dredged.