The government has taken an initiative to provide khas land to destitute families of river erosion-prone coastal areas as part of its priority programme to give shelter to the vulnerable poor people.
As part of the initiative, Char Development and Settlement project-4, additional financing, (LGED part) is going to be implemented at a cost of Tk 1.07 billion to provide shelter to 6,000 homeless families.LGRD and cooperatives ministry has sent a project proposal to the Planning Commission and it may be placed at next Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) meeting for approval as its scrutiny has been complete, Planning Commission sources said.
“If the project is implemented, extremely poor people of coastal areas will get khas land. At the same time, their livelihoods and farm practices will be improved,” said Zakir Hossain Akanda, member of agriculture, water resources and rural institution division of the planning commission
LGRD and Cooperatives ministry and water resources ministry will jointly implement the scheme. Once approved, LGED will implement the project by June 2022.
Out of the estimated project cost, Tk 343.5 million will be provided from the state coffer, while IFAD will provide nearly Tk 725 million in loans for the scheme.
Besides providing shelters--- roads, bridges, culverts, cyclone shelters, and sluice gates will be constructed alongside riverbank protection and improving communications system.
With the scheme, the government hopes to end hunger and lower poverty in the areas through increasing crop production with improved agro-technology.The Char Development and Settlement Project (CDSP) has been implemented in different phases from 1994 to December 2018.
In continuation of the successes of the earlier phases, the initiative has been taken to implement the fourth phase of CDSP.
International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) has already agreed to give $20.60 million credit to the new phase, while the Dutch government will extend 5 million euro grant support to it.
Since 1980, the government started land reclamation from the sea and char development with technical and financial assistance extended by the Dutch government.
Later, char development and setting up establishment started in the southern region, especially Noakhali through four phases of a scheme.
In all 25 years, some 45,000 acres of land has been reclaimed from the sea and developed through the land ministry.
Some 35,000 landless families have so far been rehabilitated by providing cultivable land under the previous initiatives.
A feasibility study was conducted by IFAD and the Dutch government in 2017 to develop 10,000 acres of land in a climate-resilient way in Noakhali’s Udirchar and Chattagram’s Subarnachar.
The new scheme has been undertaken in line with the study recommendations. Under it, four buildings, cyclone shelters will be constructed besides field and marketplace development.
Moreover, 138km rural roads, pipe culverts and box culverts will be constructed under the project.