>rivers dying as Ganges project remains in limbo

>DESPITE repeated recommendations from experts, the government has yet to take any tangible action towards realising Ganga Barrage Project.
The project was taken up and designed to harness water of the River Padma and to divert it to 24 big and small dying rivers in the south-western part of the country, PInaki Roy
writes in The Daily Star.
Although the foundation stone was laid and some land was also bought in 1980 to build the barrage, successive governments failed to finish even the feasibility study in about the last three decades.
Since then successive governments sat on the files of the project, which according to experts could change the lives of the people of the south-western region for the better.

If Ganga or Ganges Barrage were built, the experts said, it would increase navigability of the rivers in that region and decrease salinity in the rivers, ultimately saving the Sundarbans, a heritage of the world.
Besides, through producing hydro electricity the barrage would facilitate irrigation to almost 15,000 hectares of land in 10 districts, helping to produce extra crops worth Tk 1,000 crore a year, said Mir Sazzad Hossain, a member of Bangladesh-India Joint Rivers Commission.
“River water up to 50 kilometres inland from the sea becomes saline during dry seasons. Ganges Barrage would increase flow of sweet water and also navigability of 24 big and small rivers,” he said. (Read The Daily Star article)


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