Latest News of the Week
Dear readers, The Kushtia Times, only English weekly newspaper in Khulna division is now available online on epaper version. Please stay with us. All the best. Editor-publisher

GK project starts water supply for irrigation

Staff Correspondent - January 8th, 2013

GK (Ganges-Kobadak) project started supplying irrigation water for Kharif-3 Iri-Boro cultivation from December to March.
This is second times of a new phenomenon of the project where farmers are getting able to cultivate their land three times a year over its two times seasons — Kharif-I (March to June) and Kharif-II (mid-July to November) from the beginning of the project in 1961.
The water supply was launched on Tuesday evening.
With the new initiative, about 1 lakh tones more rice are expected to be produced in about 1.16 lakh hectares under the project area. Around 1.80 lakh tones paddy are produced under its two seasons.
According to project sources, farmer will start to plant within days.
The lands under the project area are the main sources of rice production in four southeastern districts Kushtia, Jhenidah, Magura and Chuadanga. The project has 15 pumps to lift water from River Padma and bring it to the fields through a channel.
Depending on the possibility of water in Padma, the project has been supplying water since its inception. Earlier during the period of 1992-1995, the project failed to ensure smooth water supply due to fall in the water level of Padma River. ThisĀ  happened as withdrawal of Ganges water at Farakka point in the upstream, said a high official of Water Development Board (WDB) in Kushtia.
The project became operational again after signing of the water sharing treaty with India in 1996.
Uninterrupted supply maintained if water is available in the Padma and it depends on discharge of water at Farakka in the upstream, project officials said.
The GK Project, a large surface irrigation system aimed at covering 4.88 lakh hectares of land in five south-western districts, became operational in 1961 but it could never cover the target area due to lack of sufficient water.
The objectives were to increase food production, improve cropping patterns, increase cropping intensity, HYV aush and HYV aman in Kharif-I (March to June) and Kharif-II (mid-July to November) and improving the overall drainage system in the area with the help of 971-kilometre-long drainage canals.
Besides, 228-km long inspection roads, 39 km embankment, numerous bridges and culverts have been constructed under the project to save the area from flooding.
Fifteen pumps with a total lifting capacity of 153 cusec are used to draw water from the river Padma through an Intake Channel for supplying to the fields by gravity.
But drawing water from the Ganges becomes difficult in the dry season as water levels go much below the level for which the pumps were designed.
Besides, up to 1.86 lakh cubic metres of silt is to be dredged annually from 850-metre stretch of canal near the Hardinge Bridge.
“In present, the availability of water flow is favourable and we are now hopeful of supplying uninterrupted water round the year,” Obaidur Rahman, Project Director of GK told this correspondent.
“We are also trying to expand the areas,” the PD said.