The construction was scheduled to start on December 15 last. A month has passed by but most of the PICs have yet to begin any work
Construction work of crop protection embankments circling 10 haors in Jamalganj and Tahirpur upazila (regions notable for its crop production) is behind schedule. Farmers living near Shonir haor, Halir haor, Matiyan haor, Minipaknar haor, and Joalbhangar haor, are now worried. Without the dams, their Boro crops are threatened by routine floods during the rainy season ahead.
According to Water Development Board (WDB), for the construction of these flood protection dams, 139 Project Implementation Committees (PICs) were formed, of which only 57 committees have undertaken the construction work so far to safeguard crops in the region.
The construction was scheduled to start on December 15 last. A month has passed by but most of the PICs have yet to begin any work, sources added.
Local farmers on the banks of these haors say the water level has receded and Boro paddy planting is nearly done. However, the construction of the dams which would provide protection for their crops in the upcoming rainy season are behind schedule, and farmers are worried for their future.
Mobashir Miya from Barodal of Tahirpur upazila, said: “We have planted the Boro paddy saplings in our lands. Meanwhile, the dams are not yet built but the month of Falgun will soon be here and the rain will hamper the construction. The longer the construction is delayed, the worse it will be for the Boro paddy.”
Jahangir Alam from Kholahati, said: “Dam construction circling haors in Tahirpur upazila including Shonir haor, Matiyan haor, and Mohaliar haor, is yet to begin.”
Imtiaz Ahmad Tanjim, a tenth grader of Barodal High School, said: “I had to quit going to school to work in the fields during the planting season. My school education depends on the money earned from the next harvest. I cannot afford to lose my crops to floods.”
Tahirpur Sadar Union Parishad Chairman and PIC President Md Borhan Uddin said: “The construction of the dams was held up because the water level of the haors receded late this year. Farmers from quite a few villages, including Igrampur, Shahganj, and Sahebnagar, haven’t been able to plant paddy on their lands. Meanwhile, in flood prone areas near Shonir haor, water still hasn’t receded quite enough for construction work to begin.”
Tahirpur Upazila Parishad Chairman Karuna Shindhu Chowdhury Babul said: “Determining the timeframe for dam construction from Dhaka is not practical. The water level in the haors was late to recede this year, so the construction work on the dams had to be deferred.”
Tahirpur Upazila Water Development Board (WDB) Engineer Rakib Hasan said: “The construction work on embankments will begin as soon as the haor waters recede.”