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2 December, 2017 00:00 00 AM
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Grabbing of Lauhajong River poses environmental hazards

Indiscriminate construction on its banks, release of chemicals already sounded death knell for the river
Our Correspondent
Grabbing of Lauhajong River poses environmental hazards
The recent photo shows illegal encroachment on the Lauhajong riverbank in Tangail.

 The sorry state of the Lauhajong River is posing environmental hazards in Tangail town.

With a round-the-year flow, the river was once a blessing for local people. But the situation has changed for quite some time. Indiscriminate construction on its banks and release of toxic chemicals and sewerage into its water have already sounded the death knell for the river. The resultant pollution has completely destryoed the fish population in the river.

The 76-km-long Lauhajong originates from the Dhaleswari river in Baisnabbari in Tangail Sadar upazila and flows through the district town before merging with the Bonsai river in Jamurki in the district’s Mirzapur upazila. The river once used to have strong currents, but it has turned into a narrow canal because of encroachments by influential people.

Somnath Lahiri, senior research officer of the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers' Association (BELA), said the 150-ft wide river has become a 10–15-ft narrow canal because of the grabbing of its banks. Huge illegal structures have been erected on both sides of the river.

Besides, industrial toxic effluents, domestic waste, and sewer water are regularly being released into the river.

Md Mahbub Hossain, former DC of Tangail, had taken steps to free a one-kilometre stretch along the river—from Beradoma to Hazraghat—under the Tangail municipality. But irregularities and corruption in the task of identifying the influential grabbers have halted the process.

“During the drive, some makeshift houses belonging to poor families were removed, but the concrete structures owned by influential people remained untouched,” said Somnath Lahiri.

However, local people and environmentalists have raised the voice against the land grabbers. In the wake of massive criticim, the authorities were forced to resume the operation after a fresh demarcation of the river, said Advocate Ataur Rahman Azad, secretary of Manobadhikar Bastobayon Sangstha of Tangail.  

Tangail deputy commissioner Khan Mohammad Nurul Amin said that the local government ministry has sanctioned Tk. 330 crore for a beautification project along the river bank, while the water resources ministry is taking up another project to dredge the river. No illegal structure would be allowed to remain by the riverside, he added.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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