Flash floods in haor areas often cause huge damage to Boro harvest. In response, the government has initiated investment in embankment construction and repair.
However, farmers in Sylhet’s haor areas are worried about their Boro crops since the ongoing embankment protection projects under the Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) are running behind schedule.
The Ministry of Water Resources earlier asked the authorities to complete the pre-work survey by November 15 and to form PIC by December 15 while the deadline for completing the construction work has been set for February 28.
Boro grower Habibur Rahman of Derai upazila said the authorities have not been able to form Project Implementation Committee (PIC) let alone the construction work.
The reason behind this is possibly corrupt practices. We want total transparency in PIC formation and timely execution of embankment projects so that we no longer ingest crop loss by natural calamities, the farmer told this correspondent.
He also alleged that for some unknown reasons, some influential quarters are causing delay in the projects implementation.
The construction of most of the structures has not yet begun although it was set for December 17, admitted several BWDB officials.
Asked, the BWDB Chief Engineer Sylhet region, SM Shahidul Islam, said, “A total of 701 projects worth Tk 1.19 billion (119 crore) had been approved for Sunamganj only. However, the formation of PIC could not be completed by December 15 for some reasons.”
He also admitted delay in starting work this year at upazila level.
Works on 340 projects among a total of 774 had so far started in the whole division this year, the official said.
Some people related to the sector said that union parishad (UP) election could have delayed the embankment of the projects.