The government is likely to allocate Tk 4,035 crore in ADP funds for 60 projects under the water resources ministry in 2017-18 fiscal.
The ministry will be implementing the projects at a time when there is widespread criticism over the quality of water resources projects implemented in the haor area.
Of the 60 projects, a series of water management and livelihoods projects in the haor areas will receive Tk 177 crore. The current ADP made available Tk 108 crore for those projects.
Besides, Tk 74 crore will be allocated in 2017-18 FY for advance flood protection and drainage of water projects.The allocation was Tk 100 crore in the current fiscal.
In the next fiscal, Bangladesh Haor and Wetland Development Board will continue the study on the interaction between haor and river ecosystem and development of wetland inventory and wetland management framework in addition to the investigation and expansion of groundwater irrigation in Habiganj, Moulvibazar, Sylhet, Sunamganj, Netrokona and Kishoreganj at a cost of Tk 79.70 crore.
Director General of Bangladesh Haor and Wetland Development Board Mojibur Rahman told daily sun they have recently recommended taking only submersible road and highway projects in haor areas to ensure sustainability of the development works.
“Boro cultivation and fish production would be affected severely if the LGED and Roads and Highway Division construct regular roads for infrastructure development in the post-flood haor areas,” he cautioned.
He also advised for constructing flyovers and culverts to facilitate smooth water flow in the haor region.
The ministry will take up two new projects, including an embankment protection scheme to protect some areas adjacent to River Halda from erosion at a cost of Tk 238.74. Another Tk 24.77 crore dredging project will be taken up for protecting Rabindranath Kuti Bari in Kushtia from Padma erosion.
Other projects planned for the next fiscal include the Buriganga River recovery project, river dredging projects, char development and sustainable projects, coastal embankment improvement and development project phase-1 and flood and river erosion risk management project.
AKM Saiful Islam, professor of Flood and Water management Institute of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), said the government should properly monitor the quality of embankment, switch-gate or water training projects.
“For example, the recent disaster took place in the haor largely due to lack of monitoring. The flooding in Chalan Beel and Chilmari occurred due to lack of proper maintenance of switch gates before the flash floods,” he added.
Mentioning that some areas are prone to flash floods in April, implementation of river embankment projects in those areas must be completed by February.
During last year’s DC conference, several deputy commissioners urged the government not to implement any embankment projects during the rainy season.