Aiming to reduce wastage of water and ensure well-planned use of groundwater, the “Groundwater Management in Agricultural Activities Bill, 2018” was passed in parliament on Sunday.
Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury moved the bill and it was passed by voice vote.
The bill is also aimed at ensuring the best possible use of water and its management for continuing the trend of development in the agriculture sector.
The proposed law empowers an Upazila Parishad as the local government body responsible for forming and supervising Upazila Irrigation Committee (UIC).
After conducting field inspections, the UIC will provide licences among the interested and qualified farmers in exchange for a fee, which has yet to be determined.
Once the law comes into effect, the penalty for unlicensed use of groundwater will be a maximum Tk10,000 fine, and seven days of imprisonment in case of default.