III. INTEGRATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS INTO DECISION- MAKING FOR FLOOD LOSS REDUCTION
Following severe floods in 1954 and 1955, a report was submitted by the Krug Mission, a United Nations Water Control Mission requested by the Government of Pakistan, in 1957. The report recommended the establishment of an autonomous organization to conduct data collection and flood studies and to prepare a master plan for flood problems. Subsequently, the East Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (EPWAPDA) was created in 1959. The main duty of EPWAPDA was to prepare a comprehensive plan with regard to the development and utilization of the water and power resources of East Pakistan on a unified and multi-purpose basis and to implement the plan after approval by the Government.
The master plan was completed in 1964. The objective of the plan was to increase agricultural (mainly rice) production to satisfy the increasing national demand. Its proposals centered on large-scale public works involving embankments for flood control, gravity irrigation through canal systems, and pumping stations for drainage and irrigation. The plan had a portfolio of 58 projects many of which have since been implemented. The implementation of the master plan was structured to be spread over the 20 years period, 1965-1985, at an estimated cost of US$ 2.1 billion at 1964 prices.
After Bangladesh became independent, the EPWAPDA was split in 1972 into Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) and Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB). Presently BWDB is a very large organization with a staff of approximately 18,000.