DOT Desk: Bangladesh Water Development Board’s project to save the Karnaphuli has been in limbo as the water resources ministry is yet to review the estimated cost in line with the government’s cost containment policy, reports The Daily Star.
Meanwhile, BWDB officials say river erosion in Chattogram’s Boalkhali upazila keeps wreaking havoc on the lives of at least 120,000 people, and that number would gradually rise if the project is not implemented soon.
In July last year, the government rolled out a mix of austerity measures for development projects in the face of strained foreign currency reserves, elevated global and domestic inflation, and continued tensions surrounding the Russia-Ukraine war. Tayan Kumar Tripura, project director and executive engineer of Rangamati BWDB, told The Daily Star they sent the ministry a development project proposal (DPP) with a cost estimation of Tk 144 crore in 2021, mentioning that the project was crucial.
The project, to be implemented by the BWDB, was scheduled to begin in July last year and be completed by June 2025 with full government funding, according to the DPP.
After primary approval, the proposal was forwarded to the planning wing of the ministry by its DPP board, said Tayan Kumar, adding that that was where the project ground to a halt. He, however, said, “We spoke to AKM Enamul Haque Shamim, deputy minister of the water resources ministry, when he recently visited the port city. He promised a quick approval of the project.”
According to the proposal, a 7.4km-long sustainable dam will be built, while 2.4km-long dams will be built on both banks of the river.