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A. Malek

Published:
2018-09-13 12:25:44 BdST

BMDA implements Tk 47.44-cr dug-well project


The Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA) has been implementing a dug-well promotion project since July 2016 for boosting surface water use for soft irrigation and safe drinking in the high Barind tract.

At the preliminary stage, the four-year project titled “Extension
Excavation of Dug-well in Barind Area for Cultivation of Crops by Soft
Irrigation” is being implemented in Chapainawabganj and Naogaon districts
with an estimated cost of Taka 47.44 crore.

Ultimate goal of the scheme is to reduce excessive use of groundwater and
develop an agro-ecological balance for addressing the adverse impact of
climate change in the project area.

BMDA Executive Director Engineer Abdur Rashid said the project intends to
bring 1,350 hectares of land in 197 villages under vegetable and crop farming
through providing soft-irrigation.

It will also provide safe-drinking water to 33,750 households. The project
has provisions of providing training to 2250 farmers on how to use and
promote soft-irrigation.

To attain the cherished goal of the project, excavation of 450 dug-wells
is progressing fast side by side with installation of an equal number of
solar power panels and construction of 1.5-inch diameter pipeline.

As per directions of the agriculture minister, the BMDA has been
commissioning dug-wells in various areas where there is no access of deep
tube-well, said Engineer Rashid.

Moreover, solar pumps are being used to fetch water from those dug wells.
As a result, farmers’ families have started getting water easily for the
purpose of their limited irrigation and house hold uses.

He also said 170 dug-wells have already been sunk and 140 of those have
been connected with solar pumps till June last.

The same solar panels are being used for operating pumps and lighting the
pump house areas and as a funnel for harvesting rain water which is also
recharging subterranean water level.

He expressed the hope that the environment friendly dug-wells will soon
spread the entire northern region and save the farmers as well as
environment.

He said an acute water crisis exists in the vast Barind tract resulting in
the untold sufferings of the poor and other marginalised communities.

Hamidul Haque, a farmer of Sihara area under Patnitola upazila, said
although there are some ponds and ditches in the area, water of those are
unfit for use and due to rugged underground soil pattern, no deep or shallow
tubewell could be installed there.

They were facing severe water crisis for decades but by dint of sinking a
dug-well in the area, 12 to 13 families are getting their daily drinking
water and also cultivating crops and vegetables with the same water.

Faridul Islam, another farmer of Lelengaha area of Porsha upazila, said
they were suffering from water crisis for decades but now they’re having a
dug-well, their sufferings has abated somehow. He demanded commissioning of
more dug-wells in the area.

Ataur Rahman, chairman of Badhair Union Parishad under Tanore upazila, said
lifting underground water through deep tube-wells is becoming tougher day by
day. Options for surface water are also very limited.

Thousands of hand-driven tube wells remain lying out of use every dry
season due to the fall of the water level in the area. Millions of people in
the dried up areas are now dependent on deep tube-wells for drinking water,
though large numbers of hand-driven tube-wells were installed.

So, extension of dug-well technology and its proper uses can be the vital
means of mitigating the crises of water as the role of dug-well is important
in lessening the gradually mounting pressure on groundwater in the drought-
prone area.

Upon successful implementation by July 2020, the project will help
developing agro-ecological balance in its commanding area, Engineer Rashid
expected.

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