Khulna: Construction works of thirteen school-cum-cyclone shelters in coastal Koyra upazila of the district are progressing fast with a February-deadline.
Sources at the Upazila Engineer’s Office said construction works of the shelter centres involving over Tk30 crore are expected to be finished by February, 2015.
The cyclone shelters in the Sundarbans can provide shelter to nearly 30,000 people of Koyra sadar and Maheshwaripur union at the time of any natural disaster like cyclone or tidal surge.
Two contractor firms-- ‘Khaleque Enterprise’ and ‘Dhali Construction’ -- are constructing the school-cum-cyclone shelters under a project taken up by the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED).
Tidal surge during cyclones ‘Sidr’ on November 15 in 2007 and ‘Aila’ on May 25 in 2009 wrecked colossal havoc in the coastal region Sundarbans.
Giving utmost importance to the safety of people’s lives and properties during natural disaster, the government took an initiative to build two-to-three storey school-cum-cyclone shelters in the region.
Under the circumstances, the government appealed to the World Bank and other donor agencies to extend financial assistance to build the cyclone shelters.
In response to the government’s request, different high-profile teams of representatives from the World Bank visited the disaster-hit areas several times and afterwards, the government managed to construct some cyclone shelters.
During a recent visit, this correspondent found that almost 80 per cent works of the cyclone shelters in 3 ,4, 5 and 6 no. unions of Koyra and Kalikapur, Chowkuni, Middle Maheshwaripur, Bhagba and Hodda of Maheshwaripur have been completed.
Upazila Engineer KM Farukh Hossain expressed the hope that the construction works of the cyclone shelters would be finished within the next three months.
Once built, the school-cum-cyclone shelters will come greatly to the use of the coastal people, both in academic activities and shelter during natural calamities, the engineer added.
13 cyclone shelters being constructed in Koyra