Between 6 and 8 May, Professor Dr. Shamsul Alam, Senior Secretary to the Government of Bangladesh and Member of the General Economics Division, Planning Commission led a team of General Economics Division (GED) officials and Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 (BDP) Consultants and on a fact-finding mission to Sylhet. Although the primary objective of such visits is to listen to stakeholders about the constraints they face on a day-to-day basis and the challenges in their area, the visits also serve the additional purpose of stakeholder engagement. For the sustainability of the Bangladesh Delta Plan, and its future implementation, it is important for local stakeholders to know that the government has embarked upon formulating a long-term (50-100 year) plan to manage the Bangladesh delta in a way that optimizes levels of water safety and food security, as well as sustained economic growth.
Before heading to the Monu River Project, the team discussed the project with the Executive Engineer of BWDB Moulvibazar at the Bangladesh Water Development Board rest house. . The Manu River Project covers the Moulvibazar Sadar and Rajnagar Upazila of Moulvibazar District. The area is bounded by the Kushyara River on the north, the Monu River on the south and West and the Vatera Hills on the east. Beginning in 1975-76, the project ended in 1982-83 and its barrage and pumping plant was constructed at a cost of 66.66 crore taka. The project encompasses 22 672 ha of land, and contributes to flood control, drainage and irrigation. With 19 278 ha cultivable land under the project (net 15 546 ha), the project provides irrigation to an area of 11 578 ha. The Monu River Project Pump Station has a 3 megawatt power demand. At the onset of the project, it had its own power supply, which was later diverted to the national grid for supply to the Palli Bidyut Shamiti (PBS). Currently, the Pump House receives electricity from REB, which is unreliable.
The team also took the time to visit Hakaluki Haor, situated in Sylhet Division. It is one of Bangladesh’s largest haors. The haor borders the Kulaura, Juri and Baralekha Upazilas under Moulovibazar District and Fenchuganj and Gopalganj Upazilas under Sylhet District. Discussions with local stakeholders revealed that amongst many issues that are relevant to water resource management at the haor, the most important are waterlogging, dry season water management, dry season irrigation and high extraction of groundwater and heavy siltation in the Surma and Kushiara rivers. The total area of this haor is about 97,166 acres. Hakaluki Haor is an Ecologically Critical Area designated by the Director General of the Department of Environment. This haor is also a protected Ramsar site of international importance for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands. The Hakaluki Haor offers a unique ecosystem, home to many kinds of fishes, birds and animals. There are 107 species of fishes available here, according to the IUCN (2008).
During the visit, the team also had the opportunity to visit the Joal Bhanga Haor Sluice Gate, Korchar Haor Cross Dam and the Langlia River Rubber Dam. The team also had two stakeholder consultation sessions, with the Sylhet Chamber of Commerce and Industries and the Sunamganj DC Office.
The team comprised Professor Dr. Shamsul Alam Member (Senior Secretary), GED, Planning Commission), Md. Mafidul Islam (Joint Chief, GED and Project Director, BDP 2100), Dr. Taibur Rahman (GED Planning Commission and Assistant Project Director, BDP 2100) and Murtuza Zulkar Nain Noman (GED Planning Commission and Assistant Project Director, BDP 2100). Professor Dr. Jaap de Heer (Team Leader, BDP 2100), Giasuddin Choudhury (Deputy Team Leader, BDP 2100) and Shaker Bin Shams (Assistant Deputy Team Leader, BDP 2100) accompanied the team as well.Leave a reply →