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BD allocates Taka 1bn to settle riverbank erosion victims
Riverbank erosion has turned severe in the BD district of Shariatpur - Photo UNB

BD allocates Taka 1bn to settle riverbank erosion victims

Dhaka, June 13 – A total of Tk 100 crore has been allocated in the proposed budget for 2019-20 fiscal years to facilitate rehabilitation of the people affected by river erosion.
Besides, steps have been taken for managing water resource, land use, and mitigating effects of the environment and climate change by re-excavating small rivers, canals and wetlands in 64 districts and assimilation of Climate Smart Integrated Coastal Resource Database (CSICRD) including to raise the river’s navigability through dredging of 510 km of rivers by 2022 to prevent river erosion.
Finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said this while placing the proposed budget for 2019-20 fiscal years at the Jatiya Sangsad yesterday.
“In recent times, human habitations, schools, government and private installations, business enterprises, bazars, etc. are being devastated by river erosion, and people in the affected areas are losing everything. To facilitate rehabilitation of the people affected by river erosion, I propose to allocate Tk. 100 crore in the budget,” the finance minister said.
Explaining various plans that undertaken under the government to increase the navigability of rivers, Kamal said, adding that the departments concerned will dredge a total of 510 km of rivers by 2022 to prevent river erosion and ensure supply of water during the lean season.
Besides, the government will dig and re-excavate a total of 4,883 km of irrigation canals, construction and repair of 200 irrigation structures to extend irrigation facilities, construction of 3 barrages and rubber dams, construction of 250 km flood protection and coastal embankment to reduce flood, salinity and waterlogging, renovation of 1,040 km flood protection embankments and coastal embankments, construction and renovation of 590 flood protection and drainage infrastructures, excavation and re-excavation of 1,325 km drainage canals, and conservation work of 195 km border river banks and 6 cross-dams by 2022, the finance minister said.
Bangladesh has been placed at the 6th position among the countries vulnerable to natural disasters due to climate change, he said, adding, “the government has formulated an adaptive, long-term, integrated and macro-level mega plan ‘Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100’ with the vision of ‘achieving a safe, climate change resilient and prosperous delta’. The main objectives of the plan are to ensure sustainable use of water resources and prevent natural disasters.”
The finance minister said, it would be needed a huge investment of 2.5 percent of the total GDP to implement this mega plan. Of the huge investment, 2.0 percent would have to be met from the public sector and the rest 0.5 percent from the private sector, he added.
According to the finance minister, “thirty-five percent of the total investment will be spent in flood control, preventing river erosion, river excavation, dredging, river training and navigation. In the first phase, a total of 80 projects have been proposed under the Delta plan, whose implementation will begin in phases.”
He further said, a 20-year ‘Haor Development Master Plan and Database’ has been prepared for the development of Haor areas. “Steps have been taken in the haor areas to develop infrastructures, re-excavate rivers, canals, and haors, and fostering socio-economic development of the people of the concerned areas under the project,” he added.
In view of the Framework Agreement on Cooperation for Development signed between Bangladesh and India in 2011 for water resource management and development of cross-border rivers through sub-regional cooperation, the finance minister said, “we have undertaken a plan to form an organization based on Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna river basins, such as the River Basin Organisation/River Basin Commission.” – Staff Reporter

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