RAJSHAHI, Dec 25: The Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA) has started connecting the water pumps with solar panels to ensure a smooth supply of water for farmers without any worry of load shedding. Those solar panels were irrigating water direct to the crop filed from the canals dug or re-excavated by BMDA resulting use of surface water instead of underground water and increasing production of crops and vegetables in the lands which once remained fallow.
BMDA sources informed, the height of cultivable land from the Padma river basin is 70 to 150 feet on an average. Water for irrigation purposes were earlier supplied from deep tubewells which run on electricity and due to erratic power supply, farmers suffered a lot during irrigating water in their fields. But, with the introduction solar pump system, people of Barind region were now using surface water pumped through solar panels. At first water being pumped to local canals, water bodies and rivulets from the river Padma and the Mahananda and stored there and from those sources fields are being irrigated by using solar pumps. !80 bighas of land is getting full irrigation facility from a solar pump. Six such solar pumps have already set up in Barind region and process was under way to set up 10 more solar pumps within a short time. 'Extension of irrigation in Barind area through conservation of water in canals' was executing the project of setting up solar pumps in eight upazilas of eight districts of Rajshahi, Naogoan, Natore and Chapainawabganj districts. So far four solar pumps have been set up in Godagari upazila. Each pump costs Tk 2.5 million (2.5 million).
In Jagpur ad Biroil of Godagari solar panels have been set up where water is being pumped through Sarmongla canal, while in Gipaliur and Paldevepur villages water is being pumed from two large ponds where water from the river Padma has been stored. BMDA sources further said solar pump used irrigation system from surface water sources is the first ever in Bangladesh.
Zillul Bari, Assistant Engineer of BMDA, Rajshahi zone informed, he could start and stop the pumps through computer by sitting in his office at day time but there having no sunlight, those pumps remained inoperative at night. He further said, those pumps have no possibility to damage during next 50-year. The cost of irrigation was also less in the pump water whereas there is an increased production of crops.
Zahaurul Islam, a farmer of Jagpur village under Godagari upazila, said earlier he could produce only one crop a year but now crops round the year in being produced. More than one hundred farmers of his area are being benefited from this pump.
Deb Dulal Dhali, deputy director of Rajshahi DAE said the surface water contains more minerals and silts that is why the water used from surfaces is always more nourishing and better for crop production.
Shibbir Ahmed, Director of BMDA informed, using of underground water for the purpose of irrigation and house hold purposes was alarmingly depleting the subterranean reservoir of water continuously. As a result, solar pumps are now being set up in Barind region to ensure use of surface water for irrigation purposes and to save the subterranean water. He further informed, in the first phase, 96 solar pumps will be set up in Barind region.
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