Subject to approval, the WBD aims to start implementing the projects by the next fiscal year
The Water Development Board (WBD) has proposed a set of development projects to alleviate the suffering of locals from recurring river erosion, floods and storm surges in the coastal area of Dakop upazila in Khulna.
The Development Project Proposal (DPP) comprises 12 individual projects, requiring funds to the tune of Tk1,300 crore.
Subject to approval, the WBD aims to start implementing the projects by the next fiscal year.
Khulna WDB Executive Engineer Palash Kumar Banerjee said the projects include a strengthening of the existing enclosure and upgradation to super dyke enclosures, as well as ensuring river protection in the 47km enclosed area.
“People here mostly earn their livelihood by working on farmland and so we will facilitate irrigation on 6,072 hectares of farmland. Besides, some of them also depend on fishing. After the internal canals are dredged, not only will fish production increase but the ecological balance will also be maintained through planned forestry.”
He added the newest development would be road construction along the enclosure for smooth vehicular movement and arranging roundabouts after every two kilometres for larger vehicles to make turns, he added.
Dakop Upazila Agriculture Officer Mehedi Hasan Khan said: “The coastal Dakop upazila is surrounded by the Shibsha, Pasur, Dhaki and Chunkuri rivers. People here are generally more vulnerable to floods, river erosion and tidal surges.”
If the project—which is in line with the prime minister’s Delta Plant 2100—gets approval and is implemented, there will be a drastic change in agriculture.
The project proposes Tk249.5 crore, Tk492.18 crore, and Tk 492.08 crore to be authorized respectively during the next three fiscal years for project implementation.
Abdul Jabbar, a local resident of Chalna market area said: “The Shibsha and Pasur Rivers become violent during the monsoon. Erosion begins during high tide. The measures taken by WDB after such crises bring temporary relief, but residents remain in constant worries. The construction of a durable enclosure is therefore essential.