Dhaka – Bangladeshi government has approved a mega plan to manage its water resources management and tackling disasters.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council headed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina approved the plan styled Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 also ensure food and water security of the Himalayan delta.
Bangladesh will need 37 billion dollars to implement the short-term plan of scheme by 2030, said Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal after the meeting. He told reporters that the mid-term plan will be implemented by 2050 and the long-term plan by 2100.
The country is likely to be able to boost its GDP growth by 1.5 per cent through implementation of the short-term plan, the minister said terming the date of approval of the nearly 100-year plan as Red Letter Day for the planning commission.
The Planning Minister said based on the experiences of the Netherlands, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had earlier directed the authorities concerned to frame such plan to tap the maximum potentials of Bangladesh as a deltaic region.
He informed that the Netherlands have been benefitted largely through adopting such plan as that country had been able to reclaim around 6,000 square kilometers of land in addition to their mainland.
“We firmly believe that our most important resources is the water resources. If we could properly utilize these resources, then we will certainly not lag behind in agriculture and Bangladesh will grow much stronger economically,” he added.
Kamal also informed that work is underway to frame another perspective plan for the year 2021-2041 to transform the nation into a developed one, according to state-run Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha news agency.
At least 80 projects have been selected for implementation under the Plan. Of them, 65 would be infrastructure projects while 15 others would aim at enhancing institutional capacity, efficiency and research.
Member, GED of the Planning Commission Prof Dr Shamsul Alam said the Plan highlighted six hotspots including coastal areas (27,738 square kilometers), Barind and drought-prone region (22,848 square kilometers), haor and flash flood prone areas (16,574 square kilometers), CHT region (13,295 square kilometers), river region and estuaries (35,204 square kilometers) and urban region (19,823 square kilometers).
The General Economics Division (GED) has prepared the Plan with the assistance of the Dutch government and the World Bank.
A total of 26 studies were conducted out by local experts and the plan was prepared in consultation with different stakeholders. It took three and a half years before the plan was approved.
According to a planning ministry document, the required fund for the 80 projects would come from the government, Green Climate Fund, development partners, foreign direct investment and the private sector.
At present, the government spends 0.8 percent of the GDP for Delta management projects and programmes. To implement the plan, 2.5 percent of the GDP would be required. Bangladesh is likely to get $2 billion assistance from Green Climate Fund every year.
Besides, about 0.5 percent from the private sector’s annual income could be added to the Delta Plan fund. Out of 2.5 percent of GDP required for implementation of the Plan, around 80 percent fund will come from the government sources while the rest of 20 percent from the private sector.
Coastal, Varendra (Barind) and drought-prone, haor and flood-prone, Chittagong Hill Tracts, riverine and urban are the six areas to be given priority by the Delta Plan.
Due to climate change, the country’s agricultural production may be seriously affected. The production of paddy and wheat may decrease by 17 percent and 61 percent.
About 70 percent areas in 16 districts, where poverty rate is very high, are most vulnerable to natural disasters, the document mentioned.
To execute the Delta Plan 2100, a high-level Delta Governance Council led by the prime minister will be formed. The planning minister would be its vice-president. The council would make decisions and give directives for implementing the plan.