Farmers of Barishal's Agailjhara are worried as irrigation on thousands of acres of IRRI fields is being hampered due to non-renovation of a sluice gate.
The farmers have to depend on the high tide to fill the canals to irrigate their fields. Due to the lack of proper irrigation, the IRRI paddy fields are drying up. The farmers are concerned about their crops being destroyed before harvest.
The aggrieved farmers complained that the fact that the sluice gate was closed was reported to Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) Barishal district Executive Engineer (Mechanical/Electrical) Md Abdus Salam Khan. However, no initiatives were taken in regard to renovating the construction.
According to the farmers, a sluice gate valve at Boromgora on the Gourandi-Agailjhara-Poysarhat highway in Barishal has been lying unused for a long time. Waterflow has been stopped through the gate as a result.
Due to this reason, around 2,000 farmers are worried about the crops of 1,000 acres of land as they are not able to provide water to 30 IRRI paddy blocks of Boromgora, Jalirpar and Kodaldhoa in the surrounding area of Bakal union of upazila.
About 42 acres of IRRI paddy block belonging to Aurobindu Adhikari of North Mogra village, Subodh Barair’s about 68 acres of paddy block near Govinda Temple, about 63 acres of Deenbandhu Shikari of the same area, 73 acres of paddy block belonging to Janenjoy Barair of North Boromgora village falls under the area that has been suffering from the lack of enough irrigation water.
Other than that, 41 acres of UP member of Boromgora village Ajit Shikar, Liton Fakir 37 acres and Monir Khan’s 42 acres of IRRi paddy block in Jalirpar village, Abdur Rob Fakir’s 40 acres and Jahangir Khan’s 55 acres in Kodaldhoa village are also of the 30 IRRI paddy blocks in the affected area. IRRI paddy cultivation is being hampered on about a total of 1,500 acres of land due to a lack of water.
With the sluice gates closed, the managers of all these IRRI blocks have to wait for the high tide to come into the canal. The block managers said that even if the tide comes into the canal twice every 24 hours, not all the lands can be irrigated with water from the canal.
Uttam Adhikari, a farmer of Jalirpar village in the upazila, said, “I have four acres of land in the IRRI block managed by Aurobindu Adhikari. I am worried about my paddy crops dying as we are unable to irrigate them properly.”
Echoing the farmers’ worries, block manager Aurobindu Adhikari alleged that no remedial action was taken despite repeatedly telling the concerned authorities.
Sub-Assistant Engineer (Electrical) of BWDB Barishal Mechanical Power Division, Newton Chandra Dey said that a sub-assistant engineer of BWDB’s public works department is in charge of repairing the sluice gate.
Quoting the official named Md Nayeem, Newton said that necessary steps will be taken to repair the sluice gate after confirming with the higher authorities.
Executive Engineer Md Abdus Salam said a letter has been sent to the higher authorities for the renovation of the sluice gate.
“If the allocations are confirmed, renovations will be done as soon as possible,” he said.