GANGES BARRAGE PROJECT
Water board submits feasibility reportShafiqul Islam Jibon
Bangladesh Water Development Board on Monday submitted to the Planning Commission the final feasibility report on the proposed ‘Ganges Barrage project’ in Rajbari district having an estimated implementation cost of around Tk 31,414 crore.
The government plans to implement such a project to build a reserve of the river water during the monsoon and release it in the lean period.
The Planning Commission will now scrutinise the BWDB proposal and its viability before submitting it to the Cabinet Division for final approval, said Md Faridul Islam, senior assistant chief of Agree, Agriculture, Water Resources and Rural Institution Division of the Planning Commission.
The feasibility report was submitted at a discussion between officials of the Planning Commission and the BWDB with Planning Commission member M A Sattar Mandal in the chair and prime minister’s economic adviser Moshiur Rahman present.
The participants of the discussion approved in principle implementation of such a project for the greater economic and social benefit of the country. ‘But further scrutiny is needed about the risk and environmental impact of the proposed project before getting the final approval from the government,’ a senior government official said.
He however agreed that the proposed Ganges Barrage project would enhance water flow of the rivers and overall economic productivity.
The total cost of the project, according to the feasibility report conducted by the ministry of water resources, would be Tk 31,414 crore that could be possible to implement within seven years time after inception of the project.
The length of the proposed barrage would be 2,100 metre under the seven-year project aimed at ensuring the best use of water of the Ganges under the Bangladesh-India water-sharing treaty of 1996, accelerating the country’s economic growth, and enhancing water flows of various rivers in the southern and eastern regions, among others.
The proposed barrage will facilitate irrigation of about 19 lakh hectares of arable land in greater Khulna, Jessore, Kushtia, Barisal, Pabna, Faridpur, and Rajshahi districts.
It will also greatly help in ensuring environmental balance and preserving forest and biodiversity of the salinity-affected Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest.
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