- Project cost Tk11 crore
- Survey of 8,798 acres of land have been complete
- 1,478 landless families have been selected
- 281 landless families have got land titles
The government will provide 7,000 acres of agricultural land in Urir Char and Char Nangulia on the Chattogram and Noakhali coasts to 6,000 landless families who inhabit these chars.
According to people concerned, this land will be registered to these families to enable them to improve their living standards. They have in the past lost their land due to rising sea levels induced by climate change.
The project, Char Development and Settlement Project-Bridging (CDSP-B), was approved on 8 January 2020. The deadline for the completion of the project is 30 June 2022.
So far, 20% of the project has been completed despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
The project is jointly financed by the Ministry of Land of the Government of Bangladesh, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Government of the Netherlands.
To hand over the land to the families, boundaries of Urir Char under Sandwip upazila of Chattogram and Companiganj upazila of Noakhali are being demarcated. The authorities are also developing the Land Record Management System (LRMS) software based on GIS (Geographic Information System).
So far, a survey of 8,798 acres of land have been completed under the project and 1,478 landless families have been selected.
The authorities have already distributed land titles among 281 landless families.
Project Director and Deputy Commissioner of Noakhali Mohammad Khorshed Alam Khan told The Business Standard, "The Tk11 crore project will raise these families out of poverty. The project will play an important role in improving their livelihood."
Mohammad Mominur Rahman, assistant project director and deputy commissioner of Chattogram, said that thousands of people in Urir Char and Char Nangulia will get new land under the project, which will help them to eradicate hunger.
In the Chattogram part of Urir Char, so far, 420 families have got land registration forms.
"We have prepared 308 registered documents. Among them, 251 have been approved and 56 more are pending approval," said Mohammad Mamun, assistant commissioner (Land) of Sandwip upazila.
He said that the authorities have completed 140 registrations and distributed land titles to 81 families. However, 59 more land titles are also ready to be distributed.
Ariful Islam, a resident of Urir Char, said, "My family has been living here for almost 20 years after losing their land at sea. Many bloody fights occur in this char centring on land ownership. We have been living and cultivating about one acre of land on this char. But the land was not registered under our name. Now, the government has done that for us under this project."
Meanwhile, in the Noakhali section of the project, 1,167 families have been selected for land distribution in a part of Urir Char and Char Nangulia. These char areas are part of Subarnachar and Companyganj, Noakhali.
Mohammad Khorshed Alam, project director and deputy commissioner of Noakhali, said that the authorities have distributed land titles among 317 families here. Some 404 land titles are being prepared for distribution.
"The duration of the project could be extended considering the Covid-19 situation. There is a proposal to extend the duration of the project till 2024," the deputy commissioner added.
The first phase of the Char Development and Settlement Project was implemented from 1994 to 1999.
Several government agencies, including Bangladesh Water Development Board, Department of Agricultural Extension, Department of Public Health Engineering, Forest Department, Ministry of Land and Department of Local Government Engineering, were involved with the later phases of the project.
The fourth phase of the project provided housing to 155,000 people from 28,000 families living on different chars of the country.