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Work on Sunamganj crop protection embankment yet to end

Our Correspondent | January 17, 2018 00:00:00

SYLHET, Jan 16: Farmers' apprehension over the of crop protection embankment work in the haor region of Sunamganj is yet to end as most of the Project Implementation Committees (PIC) couldn't yet start their job.

Only 80 out of the 837 PICs in the district started work till Monday, an official informed while expressing their utter dissatisfaction over the situation. It wouldn't be possible to complete the job within the government-set deadline if the PICs fail doing things more responsibly, the officials added.

None among the PICs in Chhatak, Doarabazar and Dakshin Sunamganj upazilas could start works as yet, the official informed.

A number of farmers like Abdul Quddus of Biswambharpur upazila said water recession from haors is being delayed yet at many places but the PICs in most of the areas didn't start works intentionally although water receded from many spots.

The common farmers in many areas had managed raising seedbeds but crop lands are yet to be ready for transplantation due to late recession of waters, said another farmer Shamsu Mia of Doarabazar. He however blamed the PIC officials for not starting works intentionally, even after water receded from concerned areas.

WDB's Executive Engineer-I Sunamganj Abu Baker Siddique said today in some places the PICs could manage starting their job on the crop protection embankments, but unfortunately most of them couldn't. We are putting pressure on them for doing it immediately, he added, just on recession of waters things would be done.

WDB this year is to do repair and reconstruction works on the crop protection schemes through the PICs, in place of contractors. The decision came in the pretext of last year's huge crop damage due to errant crop protection embankments by the contractors in connivance with officials.

On the basis of probe by high level committee of WDB the authorities made policy changes for executing projects, officials informed.

The government has sanctioned Tk 1000.6 million for reconstruction of embankments for protecting crops inside 36 haors in Sunamganj.

The work was scheduled to start by December 15, 2017 to complete by February 28, 2018, the official added.

Last year the WDB contractors were sanctioned Tk 460 million while the PICs were given Tk 207 million for the crop protection projects in Sunamganj. But, due to the large-scale corruption the total Boro crop was damaged by early floods, affecting about 300,000 farmers.

Amid protests countrywide, several ministers, Prime minister as well as the president visited Sunamagnj. Different agencies as well as the WDB, district Bar Association and the ACC through separate investigations detected irregularities. Accordingly the ACC on July 02 filed a case accusing 61 persons and two officials and a contractor were arrested.

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