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62,000 bighas out of cultivation for water stagnation in Bagerhat

62,000 bighas out of cultivation for water stagnation in Bagerhat

Water stagnation along vast tracts of wetland in nine upazilas of Bagerhat has kept 62,000 bighas of land out of cultivation, especially of aman paddy.
Waters in the marshy areas are also damaging vegetable and coconut gardens of thousands of people.If the uncultivated lands could be made fit for agriculture, some 20,000 tonnes of aman paddy could be produced from the areas, said sources at the Department of Agriculture Extension, Bagerhat.
For the situation, farmers are incurring a loss of Tk20 crore annually. Waters remain stagnant in the wetlands of the nine upazilas due to unplanned sluice gates and fish cultivation by filling up canals illegally.Taking advantage of the water stagnation, a section of influential people are cultivating fish in the water-logged canals by stopping flow of their water.Sources at the Bagrehat DAE said 62,000 bighas of cropland in the district are going through the ordeal for the perennial water-logging.Of the total land, 15,750 bighas are in Bagerhat Sadar, 17,775 bighas in Molahat, 16,875 bighas in Rampal, 788 bighas in Fakirhat, 1,875 bighas in Morelganj, 3,900 bighas in Sharankhola, 3000 bighas in Mongla, 937 bighas in Chitalmari and 500 bighas in Kachua upazilas.Bagerhat DAE deputy director Hirendra Nath Howlader said due to permanent water-logging farmers cannot cultivate transplanted aman. Vegetable and coconut trees are also getting damaged due to the water stagnation. As vast areas of land are under water, there prevails an acute fodder crisis all the year round. Bagerhat Water Development Board’s deputy divisional engineer Samser Ali said due to stoppage of excavation works for a long time, almost all the canals have been filled with silt.Besides, most of the sluice gates of the Water Development Board are out of order for the last several years. As a result, waste water cannot be drained out properly, intensifying the water stagnation further.Although the higher authorities were informed in writing several times, no measures have been taken so far for excavation of the canals and repair of the sluice gates. -UNB, Bagerhat