Vol. 5 Num 295 Sat. March 26, 2005  

Sunamganj civic body gives one month deadline to govt
7-point demand includes steps to save Boro in haors

The 'Save Sunamganj', a newly formed civic body, at a rally in the district town has given a one month deadline to the government to fulfil its seven-point demand and warned of tougher agitation for non-compliance.

The demands including immediate steps to save the IRRI-Boro crops from possible flood by raising heights of embankments in haors, compensation to the people affected by the Tengratila Gas field blowout, supply of gas to Sunamganj, adequate power supply and improvement of healthcare facilities in all government hospitals in the district.

The forum declared the deadline at a rally, held at the Traffic Point in the district town on Tuesday.

Convener of the forum and Sunamganj Pourashava Chairman Mominul Moujdin chaired the rally, addressed by former lawmaker Abdul Majid, Poura Commissioner Rafiqul Islam, former ward commissioner Samran Ali, local Union Parishad chairmen Yousuf Al Azad and Wahidur Rahman, Sunamganj Advocates Bar Association President Abdur Rahim, Wahidur Rahman Sufian, Abul Kalam Azad, Amirul Islam, Amir Hossain, Abdul Khaleque, Golam Mostafa, Muhibur Rahman, Jashim Uddin Faruque, Mofizul Islam, Nurul Islam Bazlu, Ahmed Nur, Samraj Miah, Aroti Dhar, JahanAra Khatun, Sujata Rani, lawyer Pir Fazlur Rahman Misbah and Prof. Shah Abu Naser.

They said most of the embankments constructed in the haor areas are of less height, which will flood Boro lands. Those should be raised.

Ruling party Whip Fazlul Haque Aspia will be held responsible for any crop damage this year by flood because allocations made for embankment repair were not adequate, they said.

They also said people will lay a siege to government hospitals and power stations if adequate doctors are now appointed and load shedding not stopped.

The rally followed weeks of view exchange meetings with cross-sections of people by the forum's leaders in different areas of the district.

Former MP Abdul Majid told the rally that Canadian company Nico is yet to pay compensation to those affected by the Tengratila Gas field blowout.

Gas supply to the National Grid will not be allowed if people of Sunamganj do not get gas, he declared.

On the other hand, officials claimed that this year, for the first time, work in protection embankments in haors has been completed in time.

Sunamganj Deputy Commissioner Jafar Siddique told the Daily Star yesterday that the "administration is satisfied as the dam protection work in haors has been completed in time, involving local people's representatives and Water Development Board (WDB) officials".

Project committees were formed with people's representatives while WDB officials supervised the work, he said.

WDB Superintending Engineer in Sylhet GM Shamsur Rahman said construction and reconstruction of embankments in haors were completed weeks ago.

Adequate steps have been taken to protect Boro crops on 2.45 lakh hectares in all the 28 haors this year at a cost of Tk 6.3 crore. A total of 154 project implementation committees were formed for this and there was no allegation of irregularity in the work, he claimed.

High officials from Dhaka visited the areas last week and expressed satisfaction over the work done, he claimed.

The SE said heights of the embankments have been raised by 16 to 22 feet, which is enough to save crops from early floods.