Apart from various need-oriented uplift programmes, the Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA) implemented a project for improving the socio-economic condition of the people living in the Barind tract, reports BSS.
BMDA sources said the ‘Barind Integrated Area Development Project (phase-3)’ was implemented in all the 25 upazilas under Rajshahi, Naogaon and Chapainawabganj districts recently. The Taka 284.28 crore project had been designed to bring additional 45,000 hectares under controlled and appropriate irrigation management system through installation of fresh deep tube wells (DTWs). By enhancing electrical networks for the new DTWs, the project ensures supplementary irrigation to another 60,000 hectares on its successful implementation. It also creates employment facility for the small and marginal farmers, day laborers and women in the project area.
Executive Director of BMDA Engineer Abdur Rashid said the Barind tract is the driest part of the country and characterized by high and wavy topographical features, low river network, high summer temperature and other unfavorable climatic conditions for agriculture. Terming the groundwater as the main source of irrigation, he said no crops would be produced without irrigation in the dried area. Only in the Barind area, around 2.3 lakh hectares remain beyond irrigation facility and if this huge land is brought under irrigation nearly 16 lakh metric tons of additional food grain would be produced, he added.
Besides, he said under the project, underground irrigation channel has been constructed for resisting wastage of water. Abdur Rashid said the project helps to increase food production side by side creating self employment opportunities and accelerating economic growth in the area. “We are taking full-length preparations for providing irrigation to the coming irri-boro farming fields everywhere in the country’s northwest region,” he said. In addition to augmentation of surface water resources and its uses he said that the authority has been enhancing irrigation facilities by using underground water through installation of deep tube wells.
“We are ensuring electrification to irrigation installations and agro-based industries in the area alongside improving road communication by construction and re-construction of feeder roads,” Engineer Rashid said.