18 Apr 2024, 13:42

Surface water irrigation to produce 23,100 tonnes crops in Barind

By Md Aynal Haque

RAJSHAHI, April 18, 2024 (BSS)- Scopes of producing 23,100 tonnes of
additional crops through providing surface water irrigation to 3,850 hectares
of land were created in the region, including its vast Barind tract,

In addition to increasing water holding capacity, volume of ground water
recharge has been enhanced through re-excavating khas pond and dighi for
multipurpose uses.

Apart from this, 1,550 tonnes of additional fish will be produced from the
conserved water.

The opportunities were created through implementation of a project titled
"Minor irrigation through pond re-excavation and surface water augmentation"
in the region.

Around 1,25 more derelict ponds and 10 other big abandoned water bodies are
being re-excavated in Rajshahi region, including its vast Barind tract, aimed
at making those suitable for both irrigation and household purposes.
Ultimately, the initiative will contribute a lot towards improving surface
water resources besides aquifer recharge in the drought-prone areas.
It will also help reduce the gradually mounting pressure on underground water
side by side by encouraging the people to boost the farming of fish and duck
after the best uses of the conserved water.
Barind Multipurpose Development Authority, an ever-largest irrigation-
providing state-owned entity in the country's northwest region, has been re-
excavating the ponds for the last couple of years.
Engineer Shariful Haque, director of the project, told BSS that the five-year
project is being implemented in 43 drought-prone upazilas of Rajshahi,
Chapainawabganj, Naogaon, Bogura and Natore districts with an estimated cost
of around Taka 146.89 crore.
Under the project, 85 solar panel driven low lift pumps are being installed
for lifting the irrigation water for boosting the renewable energy used for
irrigation purposes. Installations of 65 of those were completed till
December last.
Construction of a 105-kilometer underground pipeline for distribution of the
irrigation water to the croplands is one of the project components.
Constructions of 73 of those were completed.
More than 1.5 lakh tree saplings are being transplanted on the banks of the
re-excavated ponds and canals that will supplement the process of ecological
improvement through mitigating the adverse impact of climate change. Fifty
percent of those were achieved till the end of last year.
Salient feature of the project is to enhance water-holding capacity besides
supporting the aquifer recharge process and multipurpose uses of the
conserved water through re-excavation of the state-owned derelict ponds.
Upon successful implementation by this year-end, the project will create
scope of providing irrigation to 3,058 hectares of farming fields for
yielding around 18,348 tonnes of additional crops yearly.
In addition, the scope of producing 1,088 tonnes of additional fish will be
created through the conserved water.
Earlier on, the BMDA has re-excavated 3,098 ponds and 2,011-kilometer canal
through implementation of various other projects in order to promote surface
water-based irrigation till December last, Engineer Haque added.
Large-scale promotion of irrigation has brought a revolutionary change to the
agriculture sector in the region, including its vast Barind tract,
supplementing the government efforts of ensuring food security.
Farming scenario has also been changed as a result of expanding the
irrigation facilities contributing a lot towards improving living and
livelihood conditions of the people.
Many of the grassroots farmers are cultivating and producing varieties of
crops, fruits and vegetables almost round the year uninterruptedly.

BMDA Executive Director Engineer Abdur Rashid said: "We have a plan of
elevating the surface water-based irrigation to 30 percent from the existing
ten percent by 2030 to lessen the gradually mounting pressure on underground

Referring to various research findings, Prof Chowdhury Sarwar Jahan of
Department of Geology and Mining in Rajshahi University said there are around
10,000 ponds, 200 canals and ten other big sized waterholes in the barind
areas consisting of Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj and Naogaon districts.
"We have enormous scope of enriching the surface water resources through
proper management of the water bodies," he said.
Prof Chowdhury has conducted research on both surface and groundwater
resources in the drought-prone Barind area for a long time.

  • Latest News
  • Most View