The government is going to repair and renovate 6,654 irrigation pumps and tubewells to boost crop production in the greater Barind regions which will help in alleviating poverty and attain food self-sufficiency.
A total of 6,654 irrigation infrastructures are being renovated. Of these, 1,358 are deep tubewells and 5,296 are pump houses which would be rehabilitated.
As a result, by continuing irrigation activities in 40,740 hectares of land, the concerned people are hoping that the wastage of irrigation water will be prevented by producing additional 3,26,000 metric tons of crops a year and repairing irrigation canals.
Therefore, the Ministry of Agriculture is undertaking a project titled “Rehabilitation of Irrigation Infrastructure.”
The total cost of the project has been estimated at Tk 322.98 crore. The project will be implemented in 120 upazilas of 16 districts of Rajshahi and Rangpur divisions.
An official of the Planning Commission said that the meeting of the Project Evaluation Committee (PEC) was held on 25 March after receiving a proposal from the Ministry of Agriculture.
As the recommendations made at that meeting have been complied with, it has been recommended to present for approval at the next meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC).
Once approved, the project will be implemented by Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA) by June 2026.
Ramendra Nath Biswas, a member of the Agriculture, Water Resources and Rural Institutions Division of the Planning Commission in charge of the project, said, “Once the project is implemented, it would greatly increase crop production through expansion of irrigation activities in the Barind area, which would contribute to poverty alleviation and attain food self-sufficiency.
According to sources, 15,517 deep tubewells under of Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA) in Rajshahi and Rangpur divisions are used to irrigate about 5 lakh hectares of land and produce two to three seasonal crops and produce about 45 lakh metric tonnes of crops annually.
Of these deep tubewells installed in the 1960s and 1980s, about 45 to 50 percent of the wells are already 25 to 40 years old.
It became necessary to replace or repair the wells as the lifespan of the deep tubewells has expired and some deep tubewells have been damaged and sandstone is coming out with the water.
The walls, roof and beams of the pump houses are crumbling as the pump houses have not been repaired for a many, many years.
In addition, pumps and motor transformers have become unusable due to their old technology most of which have worn out.
As a result, irrigation activities are being hampered due to the problem of tubewells in spite of the presence of underground irrigation canals, power lines and other infrastructures in the command area of each tubewell.
In view of these, the project has been proposed to continue uninterrupted irrigation activities through rehabilitation of irrigation infrastructure.
The main activities of the project are rehabilitation of 1,356 deep tubewells, purchase of 1,358 submersible pumps, reconstruction of 2,309 unusable pump houses, repairing of 2,987 pump houses and reconnection of 1,358 power lines.