The government has taken up four projects costing Tk 8,000 crore to construct sustainable embankments in southwestern part of the country, Deputy Minister for Water Resources AKM Enamul Haque Shamim said Tuesday.

“The works of the projects will begin this year and expected to be completed within two to three years,” he said.

The deputy minister said this while speaking as a chief guest at a national dialogue on construction of sustainable embankment in the coastal area held at Dhaka Reporters Unity.

He further said the government is actively considering formation of Coastal Development Board like Haor Development Board to address the problems in the coastal areas and look into the matters.

Shamim said special measures have been taken to ensure development of the entire coastal area.

He said initiatives would also be taken to construct super driveway from Coxs Bazar to Satkhira, protect Sundarbans and rivers and resolve drinking water crisis in the coastal areas.

Meanwhile, the speakers demanded construction of a permanent and strong embankment, having and height of 30 feet and width of 100 feet on the ground and 30 feet on the top, considering climate change and natural calamities in the region.

They stressed the need for arranging emergency funds and engaging local governments for maintenance of the embankments.

The speakers urged the government to enforce a ban on making shrimp or crab enclosures within 100 meters of the embankments immediately and take effective steps to ensure safe drinking water for the coastal residents.

They said that the coastal people’s lives and livelihoods largely depend on embankments and the people of the region wanted sustainable embankments rather than food support.

They alleged severe irregularities in implementing different projects taken to repair the damaged embankments in coastal areas.

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