Govt. would ensure food security of every people: HPM Sheikh Hasina


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said "We have taken the steps so that no land would fell uncultivated." She said that "not a single person would go hungry… we would ensure food security of every people."

Prime Minister said the government has embarked upon a Taka 117 crore project for rehabilitation of the flood affected people in the northern districts.

Under the programme, she said, the farmers would get different benefits till next bro-crop. Six lakh farmers of six northern districts would get each five-kg seeds of boro-paddy, 20 kg DAP, five kg MOP and cash amount of Taka 1,000 for next crop.

In addition, the government has undertaken an incentive programme at a cost of Taka 58.77 crore to provide support to the farmers. A farmer would get 10 to 20 kg DAP fertilizer and 5 to 15 kg MOP fertilizer so that farmer face no hurdle to buy seed and fertilizer, she said.

The prime minister said seed of different types of cereals, pulses and species would be given to the small and marginal farmers who want to cultivate others crops except paddy.

The prime minister said while addressing a public meeting before distribution of relief materials among flood victims at Gobindaganj Upazila Parishad premises in Gaibandha district. She arrived here this morning to see herself the flood affected people and distribute relief among them.

She said distribution of rice seedlings has begun from August 24 and it will continue in the flood affected areas of the northern districts to help the farmers to start cultivation of paddy soon after receding water.

She said seedlings are being produced in different state owned agricultural research and development centers. About 1,000 floating seedbeds are being prepared to produce paddy saplings, she said.

A farmer would get one kilogram wheat seed or two kg maize seed, or one kg mustard oil seed or one kg nut seed or seeds of other types of pulses for cultivation so that they can cultivate whatever they are interested in after flood.

Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury, Disaster Management and Relief Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya, Food Minister Advocate Qamrul Islam, AL Joint Secretary Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Organizing Secretary Khalid Mahmood Chowdhury, local MP Abul Kalam spoke.

Water Resources Minister Anisul Islam Mahmood, PM's Security Adviser Major General (retd)Tariq Ahmed Siddiq, Whip Mahboob Ara Gini were present on the occasion.

Sheikh Hasina said the country has sufficient food stock and added the government took steps to procure 15 lakh metric tons of food grains from abroad soon after it sensed possibility of flood.

She said rice will be distributed among the ultra poor people free of cost under VGD and VGF programmes while fifty million poor families would get 30 kg rice each every month at Taka 10 per kg.

Sheikh Hasina said the prime and foremost goal of her government is to ensure welfare of the peasants and toiling masses. The government is striving to ensure for the people a decent and happy life.

Unveiling her government's plan to establish 100 special economic zones in the country, the prime minister said the plan was taken aimed at creating employment opportunities in every region. Industries in those SEZs would be set up on the basis of the crops being produced in plenty in each particular area, she said.

Sheikh Hasina said Awami League will always remain beside people during any disaster whether the party remains in power or not. The party now can serve the people better as it is in power, she said.

Recalling the atrocities perpetrated by BNP and Jamaat between 2013 and 2015, the prime minister said in the name of movement the evil forces left no stone unturned while executing their wrong decisions for boycotting election.

"Their mayhem ranged from burning people alive, destroying way side trees, disrupting communications to burning copies of holy Quran and killing parliament members. We build roads and they (BNP-Jamaat) destroy those," she said.

"However, people came forward to resist them for holding the general election in 2014," she said adding that general election in 2014 created an opportunity for her party to serve the people in a better way.

Terming the natural disaster a common phenomenon in Bangladesh, the prime minister said the flood caused massive destruction to the country's education sector as many school children lost their books and many school buildings were destroyed.

Sheikh Hasina said the affected schools would be reconstructed as soon as possible and students who lost their books due to flooding would get new sets of textbooks. So far 1400 metric tones of rice, Taka 43 lakh cash were allocated for flood-hit people of Gaibandha district, she said.

Officials said a total of 2,260 houses were damaged completely and 1,18,897 houses partially by recent flooding in Gaibandha, claiming lives of 13 people, damaging standing crops on 27,167 hectors of land. A total of 680 KM roads and 42.70 KM embankments were damaged by flooding. The number of affected educational institutions and religious institutions stood at 350 and 73 respectively.

As many as 6,937 flood affected people are now staying in 35 shelter centres. So far 1,800 MT of GR rice and Taka 58 lakh cash and 4000 packets of dry food were allocated till Aug 25. The total amount of relief goods allocated so far is Tk 8,11,74,423. Thirty-eight medical teams are now working in the district.

In Bogra a total of 461 houses were damaged completely and 4,533 houses partially. Crops on 24,255 hectors of land were damaged while 81 KM bituminous roads and 194 KM kuccha roads were damaged. The flood damaged 10.6 KM embankments and 124 educational institutions.

The flood forced a total of 21,228 people to stay in shelter centres where 121 medical teams are providing services round the clock to the affected. As many as 750 MT of GR rice, Tk 18 lakh cash and 600 packets of dry food were distributed till Aug 25. The total amount of relief materials allocated in the district stood at Tk 3,86,14,010.

The prime minister said all roads destroyed by the floods would be reconstructed as soon as possible and the government would allocate required amount of fund to reconstruct the damaged roads.

Later, the prime minster addressed the senior officials of district and upazila administrations at Gobandaganj Upazila conference hall.

In the meeting, the prime minister asked the officials to remain careful about outbreak of different diseases after receding of the flood water. She asked the officials to clear the flood water by cutting roads, if necessary, and construct bridges or culverts on those spots.

Asking the Water Development Boards for dredging the rivers, the prime minister said the channels of the rivers should be restored. In this regard, she asked not to allow lifting sands from the same place every year and to change the places of sand collection instead.

The prime minister said every upazila should have their own housing master plan and plan for proper utilization of the char areas.

She asked the senior officials of the district to ensure presence of the upazila level officials and doctors in their respective places of jobs and ensure transport facilities for their movement.

Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury, Water Resources Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud, Whip Mahbub Ara Gini, PM's principal secretary Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury, local parliament members and political leaders spoke on the occasion.

Photo: Saiful Islam Kallol

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