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BWDB implements Rubber dam scheme across Mohananda

RAJSHAHI, May 26, 2018 (BSS)-Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) has adopted a scheme of constructing a rubber dam scheme across Mohananda River in Chapainawabganj district.

BWDB sources said the scheme will help bringing back navigability of the river. More than 7,500 hectares of land could be brought under irrigation.

The BWDB has finalised a complete design of the scheme set to be implemented with an estimated cost of around Taka 159.97 crore.

There will be a revolutionary change in the region's agriculture sector upon successful implementation of the mega project, Mukhlesur Rahman, executive engineer of BWDB, opined. He said the scheme has been approved in the ECNEC meeting in January last.

Jahangir Alam Khan, assistant coordinator of Integrated Water Resource Management Project of DASCOH Foundation, said the vast Barind tract is facing an acute waterless condition due to various natural and manmade reasons like Farakka Barrage, reduction of annual rainfall and climate change.

As a result, the issue of cropping depletion is gradually being surfaced. Under this adverse situation, demand for rubber dam construction has been mounted for the best uses of river water for irrigation purposes.

At a huge public meeting in Chapainawabganj on April 23, 2011, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had given an assurance of rubber dam construction across the Mohananda River responding to the local demands.

Later on, the BWDB adopted a project titled "Rubber Dam Construction and River Dredging in Mohananda" for implementation of the prime minister's announcement.

Subsequently, Institute of Water Modeling (IWM) was given responsibility for feasibility study. After the feasibility study, IWM formulated a final design selecting a 42-point site from Mokarampurghat in Gomostapur upazila to Dariapurghat in Chapainwabganj municipality.

The Rehairchar site near Chapainawabganj town, around a half-kilometer downstream of the Beershrestha Captain Mohiuddin Jahangir Bridge, has been fixed for construction of the rubber dam in the design.

Engineer Mukhlesur Rahman told BSS that the ever largest rubber dam scheme is going to be implemented across the Mohananda River in the country. Thirty- six areas, 10 kilometers in upstream and 26 kilometers in downstream, of the 353-kilometer proposed dam will be brought under dredging.

Upon successful implementation of the scheme, more than 7,500 hectares of land will be brought under irrigation in surrounding areas.

In this regard, he said, the retained water could easily be used for supplementary irrigation of Aman paddy, wheat, pulse, oil seeds and vegetables cultivation along with pisciculture and duck farming.

It will also create employment opportunities for the day labourers and marginal farmers in agriculture and living and livelihood condition of the farmers' community is likely to the improved through crop production.