Construction work of almost 95 per cent projects of the haor protection embankments in Sunamganj has not stated until one month after the scheduled date raising fear among the locals about the accomplishment of the project within a deadline.
Water Development Board officials on Tuesday said the water resources ministry had allotted Tk 61.4 crore to construct and repair of embankments stretching about 550 kilometer by 54 haors in the district.
According to a ministry circular, a total of 1,088 projects were conceived that would be implemented by the same number of Project Implementation Committees, comprising local farmers, WDB officers said.
He said the ministry asked to form the PICs by November 30, start the project works by December 15 and to complete the projects within February next.
‘But, the formation of PICs at most of 11 upazilas in the district has been completed after one and a half month of the deadline,’ he said, adding that the PICs were supposed to do assessment of damages of embankments and then to start the works under the supervision of the upazila nirbahi officers.
The WDB sources said works of only 54 out of 1,088 projects had been started so far.
Of the 54 projects, 15 are located at Dharmapasha upazila, five at Tahirpuur upazila, eight at Jamalganj upazila, three at Bishwamberpur, nine at Jagannathpr, four at Derai, five at Shulla and five at sadar upazila.
While the work of any project was not started so far at Dakkhin Sunamganj, Chhatak and Doarabazar upazila, the sources said.
Kali Ranjan Das, a farmer of Chhayhara village at Jamalganj upazila, told New Age that they had expected that the work of dams would be started in time in this year since the embankments had been damaged by flashfloods in the last year because of not completing the projects for delayed beginning.
‘The haor water has already receded. We don’t understand why the PICs have failed to start their works,’ said Mukter Miah of Shaktiarkhola village at the Bishwambharpur.
When contacted, Sunamganj WDB-1 executive engineer Abu Bakkar Siddique Bhuiyan told New on Tuesday that bank accounts against many PICs were not opened so far and allotting fund to these committees was also being delayed for that reason.
‘The PICs should accelerate their activities. Completion of the projects in time would be tough otherwise,’ he noted.
Talking to New Age, local deputy commissioner Sabirul Islam blamed slowed recession of water from wetlands in this year for not beginning of the work in scheduled time.
The district Department of Agricultural Extension has set a target of cultivating boro crop on 2,24,000 hectares of land this year, official sources said.
According to the DAE, standing boro paddy of 1,66,612 hectares out of a total 2,23,082 hectares wetlands in the district was damaged badly by the early flood triggered in the end of last March that affected 3.5 lakh farmer families.
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