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13 July, 2018 12:26:29 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 13 July, 2018 04:34:19 PM

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Land hurdle stalls project

Buriganga restoration
ANISUR RAHMAN KHAN
Land hurdle stalls project

Work on the Buriganga restoration project aimed at injecting fresh water to clean up the channel has been stalled because the necessary land acquisition is yet to be completed. Officials of the Bangladesh Water Development Board (WDB) have claimed that they would not be able to proceed with the dredging work to construct a silt trap at the source of River Jamuna unless they got 85 hectares of land from the district administration.

But officials in district administration said the WDB was yet to send its proposal for dredging work.

As a result, uncertainty looms over the completion of the project by June 2020.

The WDB had taken up the 162-km-long New Dhaleswari-Pungli-Bangshi-Turag-Buriganga River System Project in April 2010 to clean up the rivers girdling the city and restore navigation by bringing fresh water from the Jamuna.

So far, a total of six project directors (PD) have either been changed or retired since the time the project was taken up. Now, AHM Fakhrul Islam is overseeing work as the seventh project director.

The project, which was scheduled to be completed in December 2013, has been extended thrice, pushing up the total project cost to Tk. 1,125.59 crore from an estimated Tk. 944 crore.

According to sources, a total of Tk. 298 crore has already been spent since 2010 for dredging the river.

About 55.91 km of River Pungli, in Tangail, has been manually dredged with excavators, the sources say. Moreover, maintenance dredging has been carried out on 40 km of the river, they add.

A stretch of 10.8 km of River Turag is under the project.

“The project has been taken up to ensure a total flow of 245 cumecs of water from the Jamuna to the Buriganga via the New Dhaleswari-Pungli-Bangshi and the Turag during the dry season. At the end point, the highly polluted Buriganga river will get 141 cumecs of water to cleanse the river,” AHM Fakhrul Islam, chief engineer (central zone), WDB, told The Independent yesterday.

The project work of the Buriganga restoration system had been stalled due to non-acquisition of land for the project, he said. “We'll resume the work after receiving the acquired land,” he added.

As per the expert committee’s suggestion, a silt trap (sediment deposition point) was needed at the source mouth of the Jamuna before the water enters the New Dhaleswari, said Fakhrul Islam.

The silt trap will be 1,500 metres in length and 400 metres in width.

“We've already deposited Tk. 120.62 crore at the Tangail DC office to pay compensations to the actual land owners for the acquisition of the needed land,” said Fakhrul Islam.

The WDB chief engineer also expressed hope that the project to inject freshwater into the Buriganga from the Jamuna to revive the moribund waterbody would be completed by June 2020.

However, the local administration of Tangail is yet to complete the land acquisition process for the project.

“A total of five agencies are involved in fixing the value of land and other properties. It’d take at least 30 more days to finally receive the acquired land,” Mohammad Atul Mondal, additional deputy commissioner (ADC-revenue) of Tangail district, told this correspondent yesterday.

He also said that WDB officials had not submitted any proposal to them for their dredging plan. “We’ll take action and are ready to help resume their dredging work any time once the WDB submits its proposal,” he added.

Earlier, on June 24, water resources minister Anwar Hossain Manju had told Parliament that the New Dhaleswari-Pungli-Bangshi-Turag-Buriganga River System Project was on.


IK

 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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