Make all water pumps of GK project operative soon

Published : 08 Mar 2024 08:36 PM

Cultivation of Boro paddy is being seriously affected in Kushtia, Chuadanga, Jhenaidah and Magura districts as all the water pumps of the country’s largest Ganges-Kopotakkho (GK) irrigation project have gone out of order. Irrigation is essential for crop production in our country and it mainly depends of motor pumps. 

The GK project aims to provide supplemental irrigation for traditional rice varieties, covering 197,500 hectares of land in Kushtia, Chuadanga, Jhenaidaha and Magura districts. There are 15 pumps – three main devices and 12 subsidiaries – in the GK project, a large surface irrigation system set up by the Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) on the right bank of the River Ganges – the River Padma. 

The water pumps of the GK project have the capacity to lift 153 cumec water. They were used to draw water from the Padma River through an intake channel to supply it to the fields by gravity canals. Three major pumps were used to irrigate crop fields in the last few years.  

As the last water pump of the GK project

 went out of order on February 19, thousands

 of farmers are facing problem in Boro cultivation

As the last water pump of the GK project went out of order on February 19, thousands of farmers are facing problem in Boro cultivation due to severe water crisis. At the beginning of the season, the farmers got water from the canals and cultivated paddy, but now the fields have dried up due to water crisis.

Thirteen upazilas – Kushtia Sadar, Kumarkhali, Khoksa, Mirpur, Bheramara, Chuadanga, Alamdanga, Jhenaidaha, Harinakunda, Shailkupa, Magura Sadar, Sreepur and Daulatpur – were served by the GK project in two seasons. Most canals and water bodies of the four districts have also dried up. The farmers fear huge loss as they cannot irrigate their paddy fields. 

Since farmers of 13 upazilas had been getting diminishing irrigation facilities from the GK project, many started using deep tube wells to irrigate their lands. They also used surface water whenever it was available. As there is no proper drainage system, most of the water supplied from the project is wasted. 

Farmers in the region will face serious difficulties in food production. Taking the issue seriously, the government will have to stand by the farmers immediately and ensure irrigation of crop fields. The authorities concerned must take measures to keep pumps operative as early as possible to provide water for irrigation of the paddy fields.