Water Resources Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud on Thursday claimed that the haor regions in different parts of the country, especially the northwest, have been submerged due to heavy rains, not for the damage to any dam.
“Excessive rainfall is the main reason behind this year’s flashflood in haors. Water flows over the embankments. It didn’t happen due to the damage to dams,” he said.
The minister was addressing a seminar titled ‘Blue Economy: New Frontier, New Possibility’ organised by Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCC) at its auditorium.
Describing flood as a regular phenomenon, Anisul said it struck early this year. “It’s a big disaster for us. So, our first and foremost responsibility is to stand by the affected people.”
Mentioning that they have taken a tough stance on corruption, he said 12 officials under his ministry have already been suspended in connection with corruption. “We’re strictly monitoring the issue. We’ve formed three investigation committees to look into the allegations of corruption, if any.”
He also emphasisd excavating and dredging rivers, and taking new plans for establishing embankments to maintain the natural flow of water, saying it can be a natural solution to the problem.
Mentioning that the assessment of the blue economic resources of the invaded maritime zone using innovative technology an essential and potential sector to accelerate the economic growth rate to make Bangladesh a middle-income country by 2021, the minister said local investors should come forward first and invite foreign investors to invest in this new potential frontier.
Secretary (Maritime Affairs) of the Foreign Ministry Rear Admiral (retd) Khurshed Alam presented the keynote paper at the seminar.
Coordinating Director of DCCI Standing Committee on Country Competitiveness (New Economy-FDI, Branding, Big B, Blue Economy) Engineer Akber Hakim, Professor of Institute of Marine Science and Fisheries of Chittagong University and Additional Secretary of Blue Economy Cell Golam Shafiuddin spoke as panelists.
High Commissioner of Brunei Darussalam in Dhaka Masurai Masri, High Commissioner of Malaysia in Dhaka Nur Ashikin Binti Mohd Taib, Ambassador of Thailand in Dhaka Panpimon Suwannapongse and Chargé d’ affaires of Indonesian Embassy Ingrid Rosalina in Bangladesh were present as special guests.