Medical &Health

State minister talks tough after Sunamganj flash floods damage crops on 5,000 hectares of land

The government has ordered an investigation into the recent flash floods caused by breached protection embankments in Sunamganj, said State Minister for Water Resources Zahid Faruk on Monday, warning action for negligence.

Already a six-member committee, headed by an additional secretary, has been formed to investigate the allegation, he said adding, it will submit the report within ten days.

Talking to reporters at the Secretariat he blamed early rainfall in the first week of this month for the sudden floods.

The recent flash floods in Sunamganj district damaged crops on nearly 5,000 hectares of land, said State Minister for Water Resources Zahid Faruk on Monday.

From April 1 to April 6 the local met office recorded 1209 mm rainfall, he said.

The government, he said, has taken preparation to help farmers cope with the floods, he said.

Asked about alleged delays in repairing the breached dams Faruk said the work could not be completed due to stagnant water.

“We started repair work in December and finished it in February. Up to 90% work has been done,” he said.

The state minister said the government has taken projects worth Tk 494 crore. Another project of river dredging worth Tk 1547 crore is underway in the district.

“If the projects are approved by the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) then we can start work in November. We have identified the problems and we hope there will be no problem next year,” he said.

The leave of staff and employees of the ministry has been cancelled, he added.

Besides, the government is thinking of waiving the loan of affected farmers in the district, he said.

In 2017, the government suspended eight engineers, who were found negligent of duty, he said.

The Anti-Corruption Commission will take action following rules against the eight suspended engineers, he added.

Talking about the irregularities brought against the Water Development Board, the minister said “We will try our best to bring it to a tolerable level.”

AKM Enamul Haque Shamim, deputy water resources minister, who was present at the press briefing, said action will be taken against those found involved in corruption in haor areas.

“During a recent visit to Sunamganj, I have seen that breaches occurred in three places of 535-km embankments We managed to repair one spot but in another spot the depth of water is 50-60 meter while the repair work of another spot is going on,” said Shamim.

Flash floods triggered by onrush of water from the upstream inundated Boro crops on 5,000 hectares of land in 14 haors in Sunamganj, causing loss of Tk 100 crore, according to local agriculture office.

According to local DAE office, Boro paddy has been cultivated on 2.22 lakh hectares of land in the district this year and the production target has been set at 13.50 lakh MTs.

Source: United News of Bangladesh