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No more irrigation DTW in high barind area

No more irrigation DTW in high barind area

Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA), a state-owned organisation, has decided to check any more installation of deep tubewell (DTW) to control the lowering of underground water table.The decision will be enforced in the vast barind tract comprising 25 upazilas of Rajshahi, Naogaon and Chapainawabgonj districts. Engineer Abdur Rashid, Executive Director of BMDA, told BSS that the issue of indiscriminate use of underground water for irrigation has become a grave concern in the region. Recharge of underground water table might have been hampered due to lack of sufficient rainfall besides the adverse impact
of climate change. Instead of installing any more deep tubewells, step has been taken to use more surface water through re-excavation of the derelict pond and canals. At present, BMDA is lifting water from the river Padma through 12 low lift pumps (LLP) to irrigate around 1,000 hectares of land in Sarmangla area under Godagari Upazila. Similarly, the organization plans to install 275 more LLPs at different areas of the region for the best use of the river water in the irrigation purpose.Besides, motivation among the farmers has started so that they cultivate
many more less-irrigated crops like wheat, potato and maize instead of Irri- boro. The farmers have started farming Rabi crops creating hopes of saving underground water in the dried area. Agriculturists and farmers have become optimistic over reducing the pressure on groundwater for irrigation purposes as a result of bringing diversity in the cropping system under the deep tubewell command areas.A deep tube well can hardly irrigate around 180 bigha of irri-boro lands in the dry season. But in many cases, the irrigation system faces problems due to motorized fault caused by abnormal lowering of groundwater table. The adverse situation creates negative impact on crop yield affecting the farmers economically. Shahidul Alam Tipu, Sub Assistant Agriculture Officer of Godagari Upazila,
said such rabi crops need maximum three irrigations and less labour and fertilizer till harvesting. But the paddy cultivation requires maximum irrigation and labour and fertilizer. He observed that the water stress condition could be reduced if the rabi crops are cultivated on the high barind lands widely and the process will positively benefit the farmers economically alongside protecting the environment from further degradation. Prof Chowdhury Sarwar Jahan of Geology and Mining Department of Rajshahi University pointed out that the groundwater layers aren’t recharged properly due to scantly rainfall causing in its gradual lowering. -BSS, Rajshahi