16 officials want to spend Tk 1.4 cr for EU-US tour
To learn water management
Zarif Mahmud: The Netherlands is a suitable country for the National Water Management Plan (NWMP). But for this work it has been proposed to travel Europe-America-Australia. Expenditure for training abroad has been estimated at Tk 1.40 crore for 17 officers tour to US and Europe. There are proposals in this regard in the Planning Commission. The commission will be presented at a special project evaluation committee meeting today.
The proposed itinerary includes 11 officials from the Water Resources Planning Agency (WARPO) and five officials from the Ministry of Water Resources. However, the Department of Agriculture, Water Resources and Rural Institutions of the Planning Commission has expressed its views to reject the proposal, citing various arguments.
According to the Planning Commission, only the Netherlands is a skilled country for such training. In addition, foreign training has been omitted considering the challenges posed by the global Covid-19 and the government’s financial savings. Excluding foreign travel, such short courses can be arranged through the Institute of Water and Flood Management (IWFM). A detailed division of the proposed budget for overseas and in-house training needs to be added to the project. The total cost of the project is Tk 9.59 crore. Bangladesh Water Development Board wants to implement it within a year after approval. The main activities of the project are consulting sector, overseas training and local training. Expenditure will be met from the government treasury. That is why the commission has advised the travel sector to avoid such unnecessary expenses. Besides, resources of Tk 4.563 have been set aside for 20 senior and five junior consultants (184 months) including team leader. Despite Warpo being an expert body, the commission has sought an explanation from the Ministry of Water Resources for hiring so many consultants.
A meeting of the Special Project Evaluation Committee (SPEC) will be held today in the meeting room of the Agriculture, Water Resources and Rural Institutions Department of the city planning commission on the proposed project. Member (Secretary) Sharifa Khan will preside over it. The opinion of the Planning Commission will be presented in the meeting.
In the context of foreign travel, the joint head of the Department of Agriculture, Water Resources and Rural Institutions (Irrigation Wing) Muha Enamul Haque told that foreign travel will be discussed in the meeting. It’s not just a matter of going to the Netherlands or any other country. The point is to reduce costs. We can bring in trainers from the Netherlands or take classes online without training abroad. This will save the country’s money. Basically, these issues have been highlighted. BUET is working on it. Training can also be taken from there.
According to the concerned sources, a provision of Tk 4 million has been made for eight people in the skill development and awareness raising workshop. The commission said that a detailed description of the skill development / awareness raising workshop and a clear explanation of expenditure in this sector is required. Bangladesh Delta Plan-2100 is a long-term plan, the main objective of which is water resources management. Moreover, an action plan on delta plan 2100 has been prepared by the General Economics Department of the Planning Commission.
In this situation, the Ministry of Water Resources has been asked to explain why it is necessary to formulate another plan titled ‘National Water Management Plan’.
According to Planning Commission sources, the project proposes to provide Tk 60 lakh for vehicle rental, Tk 6 lakh for stationery and Tk 6 lakh for printing and binding. The commission has suggested that Tk 40 lakh for vehicle rental, Tk 1 lakh for stationery and Tk 1 lakh for printing and binding could be allocated from here.
Besides, under the project, Tk 20 lakhs for panel of experts, Tk 29 lakhs for workshops and seminars, Tk 36 lakhs for local training of 9 persons, Tk 10 lakh for fuel and lubricants, Tk 12 lakhs for gas and fuel, Tk 10 lakh for hospitality, Tk 15 lakh for field inspection, Tk 10 lakh for irregular workers and Tk 6 lakh for advertisement.
Purpose of the project
The main objective of the project is to formulate National Water Resources Plan (NWRP) in the light of Bangladesh Delta Plan-2100. So that sustainable and collective management of water resources of Bangladesh can be done. This master plan will consider new innovative approaches to assessing, allocating, using, conserving and addressing water resources challenges through scientific analysis of water resources data.
The NWRP will include institutional planning, long-term restructuring, and national water management strategies. A portfolio of medium- and long-term programs will also be considered in the NWRP.
KM Abul Kalam Azad, director (planning) of the Water Resources Planning Agency, told that the export country Netherlands was right. The Netherlands works all over the world. However, water management is done all over the world.We have offered to go if you approve, or not. It has not yet reached the final stage.
Project is in Deltaplan plan
The government sees the Dutch Centennial Delta Plan, or ‘Delta Plan-2100’, as a key to the country’s future development. It requires $ 36 billion to implement. At Tk 85 per dollar, the amount in Bangladeshi currency is Tk 3 lakh 14 thousand 500 crore. However, at this stage, the commission has raised questions about adopting new technical projects.
The special aspect of this plan is that it is not just a strategic plan, it is a techno-economic plan. Among these investment plans, 60 projects have been proposed. Of these, 65 are physical infrastructure projects, 15 are institutional capacity building and research projects.
Planning Secretary Pradeep Ranjan Chakraborty told, “We value Deltaplan. This was discussed at a meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC). Deltaplan has to contain everyone and all the ministries have to align with Delta to take up the project. Mandatory objectives of the Annual Performance Agreement (APA) must be communicated to all. I don’t know if there are any new projects related to it. If there is, then we have to think about it.”
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