‘Nothing to do but learn lesson from haor disaster’
Water Resources Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud today said his ministry has nothing to do at present but learn lessons from the catastrophe in the haor areas.
“At this moment, we have to learn the lesson why it (disaster in haor) took place. We have nothing to do now,” the minister told reporters while replying to a question at a press briefing.
The minister called the press conference at his ministry in the secretariat to talk over the recent flash flood in the haor areas including Sunamganj and Moulvibazar.
“We have to evaluate certain matters whether we have to raise the height of the embankment. Also, harvesting time is longer for the variety of rice grown in this area and we have to evaluate whether to change that variety which is BR-29,” the minister said.
Terming the flash flood “completely different”, the minister said the flood happened as water overtopped the dam. Although flash floods happen in this region, this time the flood hit earlier than usual, he said.
Prior to March 29, Cherapunjee in Meghalaya of India received 1,100mm of rain in nine days and the water essentially came from there, the minister said.
In the meantime, Sylhet and Sunamganj each received about 450mm and 500mm of rain respectively, the minister added.
“The flood mainly occurred because of this water. Now we can only take lessons from here,” Anisul said.
Regarding allegation of corruption through various projects of the Water Development Board in the haor area, the minister said “We are working on it. Especially with the paperwork whether there are any irregularities in payment and other issues. If we find any allegation to be true, stern action will be taken.”
An unusually early flash flood struck the haor belt late last month damaging half a metric tonne of Boro crops in primary government estimation.
Three weeks after the flash flood, fishes, several thousand ducks, frogs and leeches started dying in the haors of Sunamganj, Moulvibazar, Netrakona and Mymensingh.