With a target to restore navigability of waterways and save crops from floods in the haor region, the Water Development Board (WDB) is going to dredge eight rivers in Moulvibazar and Sunamganj districts.
The dredging will be done under a special project named 'Early Flood Control and Irrigation Improvement Project in Haor Region, said a senior official.
Implementation of 116-kilometre dredging programme in the rivers will cost over Tk 3.03 billion scheduled to be completed by June 2019.
Under the project, a 10-kilometre dredging will be done in the Juri River at a cost of Tk 300 million and an 8-kilometre dredging in the Sunai River at a cost of Tk 240 million. Both the rivers join Hakaluki.
A total of Tk 1.78 million will be spent for 6.0-kilometre dredging from Sangrampur of Jamalganj to Abua in the region.
In the upper Boulai River, 16-kilometre dredging is on from Halihaor area to Sonamaral of Dharmapasha at a cost of Tk 306.9 million.
The frontier Jadukata River's 6.0-kilometre dredging from its Biswambharpur area to the upper Boulai point has been targeted at a cost of Tk 116.5 million.
Dredging along the 40-km way in the Old Surma River will be done from near Sunamganj to Mithamoin via Derai at a cost of about Tk 1.0 billion. It is set to start this month.
The 20-kilometre dredging in the Chamti River in Derazi and Shulla upazilas will be done at a cost of TK 600 million, and 10-kilometre dredging in the Noljur River at a cost of taka 300 million.
Floating of bids for the Chamti, Noljur, Juri and Sunai is under process to start dredging from February.
Under the programme, 6.5-kilometre dredging in the Rokti River will cost Tk 170 million, while 16.5 km in the upper Boulai River will cost Tk 300 million. Work on the two rivers already began, said the officials.
However, 40-kilometre dredging in the Old Surma (punnya) River will cost about Tk 900 million. As for this, tenders have been invited for the second time.
The second time tender documents are under evaluation and approval process by the water resources ministry. At first, it had to be cancelled because of technical difficulty, according to the source.
The Old Surma River dredging, when implemented, will help save the Boro paddy crops from the early floods in different haors in Derai and Shulla upazilas of Sunamganj.
In the same way, dredging of the dried-up Boulai River, which passes through Tahirpur and Dharmapasha upazilas, will help save crops from flooding in the areas.
WDB Superintending Engineer, Sylhet, SM Shahidul Islam said natural calamities like flood, rolling down of water from the Indian and incessant rain cause damage to Boro crop almost every year.
Some 700,000 hectares of land come under boro cultivation in the haor region comprising of Sunamganj, Moulvibazar, Habiganj, Sylhet, Kishoreganj and Netrokona districts.
The poor and marginal farmers suffer extremely almost every year in the absence of any appropriate measure to save them from flood in the region.