The government has taken an initiative to put an end to flash flood in Gopalganj to protect lives and livelihood in the area alongside increasing crop production.
Water resources ministry is going to undertake a project called ‘Combined Water Management in West Gopalganj (2nd phase)’ to this end.
Planning commission is now scrutinizing the Tk 119.46 crore project proposal of water resource ministry and is likely to place it before Ecnec for approval, official sources said.
Once the project is implemented, entry of saline water in crop fields could be prevented which will increase paddy production in the area.
Crop production will be increased in the project area after construction of flood protection embankment inside the polder and increase water discharge as well as irrigation capacity under the said project.
Moreover, houses, arable land and various public and private establishments can be saved with the protection of Madaripur Beel Route (MBR) and erosion-prone parts of the Madhumati River.
Water resource ministry said the project area will stretch in 62,207 hectares of gross areas and 45,996 hectares of net areas of Gopalganj sadar, Kashiani upazila and Moksudpur upazila, which are located at the basin of Madhumati, MBR and the Kumar River.
All these rivers are connected to numerous small rivers and channels. Two large rivers called Madhumati and Nabaganga are created from the River Garai.
During the lean period, saline water enters the rivers from the downstream because of little flows from upstream.
The Kumar River, on the other hand, after originating from the Padma River as its branch connected MBR after flowing through Faridpur sadar, Nagarkanda, Bhanga and Moksudpur upazilas.
Because of being a low-lying land, the said areas go underwater during the monsoon, severely disrupting crop production while hampering irrigation during dry season.
Entry of saline water through MBR also caused huge crop losses. On the other hand, in absence of an effective water discharge system, IRRI and Boro paddy plantation becomes delayed.
A study regarding flood control, water discharge and irrigation was conducted back in 90s for the area with financial assistance from Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
It suggested implementing flood control, water discharge and irrigation project after dividing the project areas into six polders.
Then, the project work got suspended after completion of partial work in two polders, according to water resources ministry information.
Besides, flood protection embankments and infrastructures got more damaged after floods in 2004 and 2007.
Project Evaluation Committee (PEC) of the planning commission held a meeting on the proposal in late November last year and recommended making some changes to the original proposal.
The project has now been reshaped in line with PEC’s recommendation and is likely to be implemented by Bangladesh Water Development Board by June 2021.
Under the proposed scheme, 3.18-km river embankment will be protected, dredging will be done in 98-km river or canal and roads will be constructed alongside reshaping 13-km underwater embankment and excavation of 2-km Moksudpur baor.