The government has undertaken a plan to conserve water in Barind area for increasing productivity and ensuring food security through sustainable agricultural management.
As part of the government move, a project titled "Irrigation Expansion Project-Second Phase" has been proposed in the Planning Commission by conserving water in the canals of that area.
The total cost of implementing the project has been estimated at Tk 249.40 crore.
If the project is implemented, the use of surface water in the area will increase from 10 to 12 percent.
The environment will also be improved through the use of surface water, irrigation facilities on about 3,490 hectares of land and plantation of trees on the banks of canals and ponds.
State minister for planning Shamsul Alam said that the project is consistent with increasing productivity and ensuring food security through sustainable agricultural management, one of the objectives of the irrigation sub-sector in the 8th five-year plan.
Besides, the project is also in line with the Sustainable Development Goal 6.1 integrated water management.
He said that if the project is implemented, it is possible to increase irrigation facilities and agricultural production by using surface water for irrigation purposes in the project area.
An official of the Planning Commission said that the Project Evaluation Committee (PEC) meeting was held on December 13 last year after receiving the proposal from the Ministry of Agriculture.
Following the recommendations given in that meeting, the project has been recommended to present in the next meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC). It will be implemented by Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA) by June 2026 if approved.
According to the project proposal, the weather of Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj and Naogaon districts located in the north-western part of the country is relatively dry, the temperature usually remains higher on average and the rainfall is irregular and there is a shortage of surface water.
On the other hand, Padma, Mahananda, Punarbhava, Rani and Barnai rivers have abundant water during monsoon.
If the water of these rivers can be stored and used for irrigation, it will be possible to limit the use of underground water.
It has already been possible to bring 3,780 hectares of land under well-controlled irrigation through the first phase project of irrigation expansion through canal water conservation in Barind area.
Taking into consideration the success of this project, BMDA has inspected the actual situation of Padma, Mahnanda, Punarbaba, Rani, Atrai and Barnai rivers on the ground and marked the areas which have water throughout the year and are suitable for irrigation purposes.
It has been proposed to implement a project to extract water from these rivers and store it in canals.
Through this, it will be possible to bring 3,490 hectares of land under planned irrigation by using canal water for agricultural production.
The main activities of the project are, re-excavation of 17.82 million cubic meters of canals, beels and ponds, purchase and installation of 132 sets of solar pumps, construction of one pipe holding structure, one box culvert, dismantling of 53.10 km of pipe line, 2 10.30 km road reconstruction, line will be constructed.