POST TIME: 18 June, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Farmers fear crop damage during monsoon
Late commencement of flood protection embankment construction have left the crops vulnerable

Farmers fear crop damage during monsoon

With the rainy season knocking at the door, famers fear damage to the Aman crops as the construction of a 3.50-km flood-protection embankment along the Meghna in Ilisha and Rajapur union of Bhola Sadar remains incomplete.

The Water Development Board (WDB) of Bhola took up a project of Tk. 53 crore for the construction of a flood protection embankment along the Meghna in this area to protect crops from floodwaters spilling from the river during monsoon.

But the late commencement of construction and its slow progress have left the crops vulnerable as the monsoon has already arrived. Only 10 per cent of the work has been completed so far, say sources.

When this correspondent went to Rajapur village recently, some farmers, including Nurul Islam and Ayub Ali, said that the waters of the Meghna would enter the fields once the river level rises after heavy showers. The submergence of the fields would badly damage the crops, they added.

The dumping of concrete cement (CC) blocks  along the 3.5-km-long river bank began about two years ago at a cost of over Tk. 350 crore.

During a recent visit to the river bank, Tofail Ahmed, and former commerce minister and advisory committee member of the ruling Awami League, expressed satisfaction, saying that the government had sanctioned over Tk. 2,000 crore for the dumping of CC blocks to prevent the erosion of river banks.

About 22 km of the flood protection embankment is vulnerable in Charfassion upazila and may collapse any time if there is a strong tidal surge.

Kaisur Ahmed, executive engineer of WDB in Bhola-2, said that those vulnerable embankments should be urgently repaired to save the crops from flood waters.

When contacted, Babul Akter, executive engineer of the WDB in Bhola, told this correspondent that the construction works could not begin on time because of unavoidable circumstances. The works are now scheduled to be completed in June next year, he added.