RAJSHAHI, April 16 (BSS)- The Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA) has been implementing different need-based uplift projects to improve the socio-economic conditions by increasing crop production side by side protecting the environment almost everywhere in the country's northwest region.
"Successful implementation of these projects is boosting crop production together with creating jobs for the unemployed people and also supplementing the government's efforts to ensure an environment-friendly weather in the region,' said Enanul Haque, Executive Director of BMDA while talking to BSS here today.
He stated that the implementation of some good projects came out with desired crop production along with safe-drinking water, forestry and concrete roads in the dried Barind region.
The BMDA already executed eight big projects by spending Tk 756.21 crore under its command areas in 25 upazilas of Rajshahi, Naogaon and Chapainawabganj from 1985-86 to 2003-04.
Now, 11 other projects are being implemented throughout the region besides the 25 upazilas at an estimated cost of about Tk 1857.28 crore for the last couple of years.
"We are now providing irrigation towards around 5.52 lakh hectares of crop lands including 2.87 lakh hectare of Irri-boro lands through operating more that 13,000 deep tube wells are present," said Enamul Haque.
He added that the farming condition of the boro is being adjudged as good excepting some damage caused by the natural calamities.
The ongoing projects of the BMDA include barind integrated area development, reactivation of the non-functional deep tubewells, deep tube well installation, irrigation area development, training and its extension, rural road development for marketing of agro-products, integrated area development of Panchagarh, Thakurgaon, Dinajour and Joypurhat, rainwater conservation and irrigation and fine rice production and marketing.
Enamul said execution of the projects had yielded a significant success in crop production including quality seed, creation of ecological balance, road communication and development of socio-economic condition leading to raising the standard of living and livelihood condition of the targeted people.
Around 20.56 lakh tonnes of crops particularly rice including additional of 13.68 lakh tonnes valued at Taka 1,108 crore are being produced in the region annually, he said.
Before inception of the uplift programs, the number of deep tube wells was only 500 with total irrigated area of about 5,000 hectares. At that time, the farmers had to depend on the mercy of rainwater for crop production.
Now, they said, the number of deep tube wells is 14,627 including 12,986 with power connections in the command areas with the total irrigated area of 5,47,830 hectares in the region.
Under the pond and canal-digging programme, officials concerned said, 2878 ponds and 1112 kilometres of derelict canals were re-excavated making them fit for fish culture and irrigation. A total of 606 cross-dams have also been constructed to preserve surface water in the canals.
Besides providing training to 1.17 lakh farmers on various eed-based issues, more than 2.38 crore saplings of various trees were planted to protect environmental balance and meet the growing demands for fruits and timber in the region.
Out of the existing 1,200-kilometr non-metalled roads in the three districts, 747.68 kilometres have so far been made concrete
and the rest are expected to be completed in phases.
Implementation of the Tk 99.40 crore project to ensure safe
drinking water for the Barind people through using the irrigation
deep tube wells is on the final stage.