Published:  12:11 AM, 12 January 2019

Public hearing on Delta Plan proposed

Speakers at a program have suggested holding public hearing on Delta Plan 2100 -- a long-term strategy to prevent floods and soil erosion, manage rivers and wastes, and supply water throughout the century. Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA) and Bangladesh Environment Network (BEN) organized the program at KIB auditorium in Dhaka yesterday.

Prof Abdullah Abu Sayeed in his speech said: "Environmental and climate change is disastrous news for us. If mankind fails to win the war, if they fail to prevent minimize the diverse impacts, the damage will be huge."

Bishwo Shahitto Kendro Chairman Prof Sayeed believes holding a public hearing is necessary before finalizing the long-term plan. "The plan has been drafted to tackle an enormous issue. I think the stakeholders can vastly contribute to it.   

Bangladesh will need around 2.5 percent of its GDP every year to implement the plan. It will need $29.6 billion annually for implementation until 2031. The experts laid emphasis on ensuring expenditure in appropriate sector. Former UGC chairman Prof Nazrul Islam said: "We have to think about the ecology beside economic and social sector. Ecosystem also requires a well planned approach."      
Senior Secretary Shamsul Alam, one of the planners from Planning Commission, was also present at the seminar. He said they followed Dutch model while drafting the plan. Opinion has been taken from more than 3000 experts.

"This is not a static plan as it can be rearranged," he added. The government is calling 'hotspots' the places that have been prioritized in the plan. The six hotspots are the coastal areas, Varendra or Barind and drought-prone areas, Haor or backswamps and flood-prone areas, hilly areas, river and estuaries region and urban areas.

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