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POST TIME: 5 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM
SURMA RIVER EROSION
Tk 121cr project underway
BSS, Dhaka

Tk 121cr project underway

The government has initiated a move to protect the homesteads, roads, primary schools, madrasas, orphanages and mosques from the erosion of River Surma in Sylhet through river protection works.

“The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) will consider a project to this end today (Tuesday),” said a senior official of Planning Commission.

ECNEC Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will preside over the meeting to be held at the NEC Conference Room in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.

The official told the news agency that Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) under the Ministry of Water Resources will implement the project with an estimated cost of Tk 120.82 crore with entire government fund to be completed by June 2022.

The project titled “Protecting Dashgram, Mahtabpur, Rajapur Pargana Bazaar areas under Sylhet Sadar and Biswanath upazilas from erosion of Surma River” mainly aim to protect the establishments there side by side improving the naval communication system by excavating some 18.50 kilometres char.

Under the project, river protection works of 1,650 meter would be conducted on both sides of the River Surma, said the official, adding a total of 1,517 homesteads, 34 roads, 3 government primary schools, 2 madrasas and orphanages, and 7 mosques are expected to be protected from the erosion of River Surma with the project.

Talking to the national news agency, another official at the Ministry of Water Resources said the river originated from Manipur Hills near Mao Songsang where the river known as Barak River. At the border with Bangladesh, the river divides with the northern branch being called as the Surma River and the southern the Kushiyara River. This is where the river enters the Sylhet Depression (or trough) which forms the Surma Basin.

The official said although the average width of this Surma River is less than other rivers of the country, but its average depth is higher than the other rivers for which the river bed is filled with silt during the dry season. “But, in the rainy season, excessive flow of water from the upper stream and from the hills inundates the Surma River and the adjacent establishments like homesteads, schools are subjected to the erosion of River,” added the official.

Under the circumstances, the project has been drafted in light of the recommendations of the technical committee formed by the BWDB. The Pre Evaluation Committee (PEC) meeting on the project was held on March 25 this year where the Planning Commission recommended for implementing the project.