Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday announced in parliament that her government is going to form a high-level committee to implement the mega plan for dredging the rivers of the country.
"I myself will head the committee. The finance, planning, agriculture and other ministers concerned will be its members. It will require huge amount of money to dredge the rivers. But we will do it," the PM said in reply to lawmakers' queries.
On taking financial assistance from the World Bank for tackling damage caused by global warming, she said her government would not take funds from it on its conditions.
"The World Bank will give us funds as per our terms and conditions since developed countries are responsible for the global warming," Hasina said, replying to a query from Workers Party lawmaker Rashed Khan Menon.
The premier expressed hope that Bangladesh will be able to receive as much money as required to face the aftermath of global warming.
She said her government has already allocated Tk 300 crore in the budget for the next fiscal year to initiate adaptation measures.
"A guideline titled 'Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan' has been formulated to face possible disasters induced by climate change. A cabinet committee is working to finalise the action plan. Another committee is finalising the process of formation of Climate Change Trust Fund with budgetary allocation," Hasina said in a scripted answer to a query of AL lawmaker Shahiduzzaman Sarker.
In response to a supplementary enquiry of Shahiduzzaman, she said her government would take necessary steps to save North Bengal from desertification.
On capital dredging of rivers, the prime minister said the government has already started discussion with the World Bank, the Netherlands and other donor agencies for assistance.
"Fortunately, the donors are now responding to our requirements. I have signed a file today to send a representative to the World Bank to discuss various programmes including dredging rivers," Hasina said in response to a query of AL lawmaker Waresat Hossain Belal.
She said after capital dredging, the rivers will be dredged every year for maintaining their navigability.
About her government's plan on haor areas, Hasina said the government is examining the feasibility of setting up dams on haors to generate power.
The PM also spoke about the government's plan to strengthen the social safety net, its measures to face the aftermath of cyclone Aila and mitigate sufferings of its victims.
Hasina said her government will initiate measures to improve lifestyle of the ultra poor people including rickshaw-pullers, Monga affected people and street children.