Local Government Engineering Department has taken an initiative to build some 115 Killas (forts), locally known as Khola or Kitta, on different marshlands of the country’s haor belt areas to ease the sufferings of local boro rice growers during flash floods.
Kholas or Kittas are comparatively higher and safer places, where haor belt Boro growers gather paddy after harvesting, thresh and process those before supplying to store-houses.
The initiative was taken to ensure a flexible Boro harvesting, easing the farmers’ sufferings for inadequate higher lands to pile up harvested paddy and process those during inclement weather, LGED officials said.
Talking to New Age, Sunamganj district LGED executive engineer Eqbal Ahmad said, ‘Haor Infrastructure and Livelihood Improvement Project (HILIP), a programme of the LGED working to bring progress in haor belt people’s life, is assigned to implement the proposed scheme.’
He also said HILIP has been working to implement different projects at 165 unions under 28 upazilas in Sunamganj, Habiganj, Kishoreganj, Netrakona and Brahmanbaria districts.
‘Some 115 Killas would be set up at the major haors of Sunamganj district,’ Eqbal said, adding that the fund to implement the scheme would be allotted from a Tk 1,100 crore package project, which had already been approved for development of the haor regions by the Economic Council for National Economic Committee (ECNEC).
He also said a move to launch a district-level discussion in this regard would be taken soon and then sites to set up the Killas would be acquired by
talking with the local Boro growers, who would be the prime beneficiaries of the scheme.
‘The scheme will be implemented in the next financial year,’ Eqbal added.
When contacted, HILIP’s Sunamganj district project coordinator Nurul Amin told New Age that each of the proposed Killas would be 5 to 8 feet in height, around 100 feet long and 40 to 50 feet wide, according to primary assessment.
‘The Killas will be set up by filling up soil on the selected lands so that the Boro rice growers can pile up and process harvested crops there during flash floods,’ he added.
Nurul Amin informed New Age that they had already begun construction work of a Killa at Sulla upazila in Sunamganj this year, but the work of filling soil was yet to complete as the land went under water due to heavy rainfall.
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