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3 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Protecting water bodies

Protecting water bodies

Environment and forests minister Anisul Islam Mahmud was right when he said that nobody would dare to construct buildings by grabbing wetlands if one or two such buildings are demolished. But the obvious question is, since he is at the top of his ministry why does not he take an initiative to do this involving the other relevant ministry? Apart from the colossal impact of worldwide climate change, Bangladesh has come to a bad pass environmentally because those who are publicly responsible for protecting the crucial environmental entities have consistently shown neglect to them.

Look at the rivers and canals in and around the Dhaka city. One does not need to be an environmentalist to understand that the Buriganga, Shitalkhya, Turag and Balu lie in their most unnatural state and their waters have become virtually all poison.    

Bangladesh as a country was once famed as a land of rivers and water bodies. People now hardly feel any pride in this, because many rivers have already been dead now or dying. Most rivers, canals and other kind of water bodes especially those within a city or town or close to it, are being encroached by the land grabbers and there is apparently no one to  protect them.

The environment and forests minister himself admitted to the reality, at a seminar on “Situation of Dhaka’s wetland and future plan” on the occasion of the World Climate Day, that there is a culture of impunity for environmental countries in the country who have built buildings illegally by grabbing wetlands.

Here in Bangladesh the High Court often comes to give suo motu rules to protect rivers and water bodies, and the relevant administration even fails to follow these rulings. We also often hear that the powerful people in our society are behind the theft of state properties including the rivers, canals and water bodies and the government is unable to act against them. The environment and forests minister said that pulling down of one or two buildings can act as a deterrent against wetland grabbers, but it is not easy, for the government, to do it, because politically influential people are behind the grabbing. But this should not ideally be the case. But the state has relevant laws and power to crush these individuals. What is necessary is the political will to do so.     

 

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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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