Floods sumerged crop protection embankments: Minister

Floods sumerged crop protection embankments: Minister

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Dhaka – Flash floods in the haor areas after incessant rainfall has spilled over the crop protection embankments as the height of water was above the barriers causing the damage to the crops, water resources minister Anisul Islam Mahmud said Sunday.The ministry has formed two-separate committees to enquire whether any corruption and negligence of duty took place during construction and maintenance of embankments.
“At this moment, we have nothing to do except to learn lesson from this disaster in the haor areas. We are thinking to raise the height of embankments one metre. But before that we have to asses whether there will be any environmental impact,” Anisul Islam Mahmud said while replying to a question of reporters at a press briefing at the secretariat.
The minister called the briefing at the secretariat to talk over the recent flash flood in the haor areas including Netrokona, Sylhet Sunamganj and Moulvibazar.
Describing the flash flood in the areas as ‘unusual’, the minister said, adding, “we didn’t expect such advance flood as it is not usual time for flood. It is happened due to climate change and this incidental of water overtopped the dam when happened.”
According to the minister, “We have to re-evaluate certain matters like to raise embankment height or to change rice variety that grow in the area with longer harvesting time.”
Prior to March 29, Cherapunjee in Meghalaya of India received 1,100mm of rain in nine days and the water essentially came from there, the minister said.
Meanwhile, Sylhet and Sunamganj each received about 450mm and 500mm of rain respectively, the minister added.
“The flood mainly happened because of this water. Now we can only take lessons from here,” Anisul said.
Regarding allegation on corruption charges, the minister said, “we are examining the allegation. Stern action would be taken—if proved corruption during investigation.”
There are about 820 embankments and the department concerned has to repair the dams annually, he added.
The department concerned has paid only Tk 22 crore out of Tk 60 crore of works under the ministry, Anisul Islam Mahmud said, adding, “the bills are stopped because dams are repaired by cutting soil just near from the dams.”
An unusually early flash flood struck the haor belt late last month. – Staff Reporter

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