3,490-hectare more land under surface water irrigation in Barind

Published : 25 Sep 2022 09:11 PM

Initiative has been taken to bring 3,490 more hectares of lands under surface water irrigation aimed at lessening the gradually mounting pressure on underground water for irrigation in the dried Barind tract.

To this end, 38.25-kilometer canals, one pond and two beels will be re- excavated besides construction of 13 submerged wares.

Apart from this, four pontoons will be installed and two others will be repaired in rivers side by side with establishing 26 low lift pumps (LLP) along the banks of the re-excavated canals.

River water will be conserved in the canals through 72.70-kilometer underground pipelines of 450/500-millimeter diameter for establishing a well-controlled irrigation system.

Demand-driven irrigation will be ensured to the 3,490 hectares of farming fields by the canal water to be lifted by 132 solar LLP and 40 direct pumping schemes through 148-kilometer pipelines of 250-millimeter diameter in double lifting method. 

Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA) will implement the infrastructural development works through an uplift project with the main thrust of enhancing surface water uses for irrigation to 12 percent from 10 percent at present.

The five-year scheme titled "Extension of Irrigation in Barind Area through Conservation of Water in Canal- 2nd phase" will be implemented in eight upazilas of Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj and Naogaon districts.

Already approved by ECNEC meeting on August 16 last, the Taka 249.40-crore project has provision of transplanting sapling of around one lakh fruit and herbal trees on both sides of the canals to protect ecological balance through mitigating the adverse impact of climate change.

Superintending Engineer Nazirul Islam said that increasing the capacity of surface water in dry area has become essential to reduce dependency on the ground water.

Under the project, pontoons along with pumps will be established in the

selected pumping stations in the rivers of Padma, Mohananda, Punarbhaba, Atrai, Barnoi and Rani for conservation of water in canals through lifting from the rivers.

Upon successful implementation by June, 2027, the project will help to produce about 40,000 tonnes of food through providing irrigation to 3,490 hectares of land from the conserved water sources annually.

Besides, it will be possible to produce 4,000 tonnes of fish worth Tk 90 million and rearing 50 million ducks annually. It will also create employment opportunities for the day labourers and marginal farmers in agriculture and living and livelihood conditions of the farmers' community is likely to be improved through crop production.

As a whole, the scheme will facilitate boosting round the year surface water uses for irrigation purposes. Engineer Islam said, it would also help improve environment there a common concern of the area. Under the first phase of the five-year project, BMDA re-excavated 38.85 kilometers derelict canals besides construction of 16 submerged wares for creating surface water reservoirs till June, 2020.

Around 1.23 lakh meters underground upvc pipelines were commissioned to enhance the irrigation efficiency. 96 power-driven low lift pumps were set up for using the conserved water in the re-excavated canals for irrigation purposes.

Around 10 solar panels were also installed to operate the pumps for irrigation.

Jahangir Alam Khan, Coordinator of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) project, said there are a huge number of ponds and canals in the

Barind area. All the farming lands could be brought under irrigation with the conserved water round the year if those were re-excavated properly.

Re-excavation of all the existing derelict ponds and canals has become indispensable to enrich the surface water resources in the drought-prone area

to make its farming system protected.

He also said the retained water could easily be used for supplementary irrigation of aman, wheat, pulse, oil seeds and vegetables cultivation along

with pisciculture and duck farming.