Canal re-excavation becomes boon to Rajshahi farmers

15 December, 2019 12:00 AM printer

RAJSHAHI: Furthermore scope of yielding around 52,000 tons of crops has been created through re-excavation of 92.20-kilometer derelict canals and 14-acre water-body in the Barind area, reports BSS.

The venture has also established a long-term space of contributing to lessening the gradually mounting pressure on the underground water in the water-stressed region.

This initiative has been executed under a four-year project titled “Extension of irrigation facilities by increasing the availability of surface water and removing water logging in Naogaon District”.

Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA), an ever-largest irrigation providing state-run entity in the country’s northwest region, has implemented the Taka 79.12-crore project in six upazilas of the district till June last.

Project Director Mahfuzur Rahman told BSS that more than 16,350 hectares of land had remained waterlogged condition for long that was not in any position of farming excepting Irri-boro. The single crop also faced damaging condition by the early monsoon frequently.

With the project intervention, 92.20-kilomter derelict canal and a 14-acre water-body were re-excavated besides construction of 13 cross-dams including foot-over bridges.

Around 30,000 saplings of varieties of fruits and forest trees were transplanted on both sides of the canals. More than 600 farmers were imparted training on how to derive total benefits of the promoted activities of the project.

Mahfuzur Rahman said more than 1.60-lakh people are being benefited from the project activities. Use of surface water is seen increasing to irrigation activities.

When the entire existing canal in the project area will be re-excavated 60,500 tones of crops from 16,500 hectares of land will be produced every year, he added.

Rafiqul Islam, Chairman of Merat Union Parishad in Raninagar Upazila, said many people are seen cultivating transplanted aman paddy and varieties of rabi crops including maize after the best uses of the canal water.

After being freed from the waterlogged condition the huge lands are being transformed into three-crops instead of the single crop round the year.

UP Chairman Islam said the re-excavated canals have created potentialities of additional food production besides creating employment opportunities for many people through eradicating the long-lasting water stagnation menace.

Alamgir Kabir, 48, a farmer of Jalalabad village under the same upazila, said he had cultivated maize on one bigha of land and got 35 mound yields last year. He has also cultivated the same crop on two bigha this year.

Terming the canal water as blessings for the people he expected that the area will contribute a lot towards boosting food grain production.

Engineer Abdur Rashid, Executive Director of BMDA, said instead of underground water farmers have become habituated in using surface water to their farmlands at present which is comparatively safe and cost-effective.

Besides, the transplanted trees have positive impact of mitigating the adverse impacts of climate change in the region.

The project will improve socio-economic condition of the beneficiary people besides eradicating poverty in the area.

As a whole, the scheme will supplement the government efforts of achieving the sustainable development goals side by side with seventh five-year plan and vision 2021, Engineer Rashid expected.