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18 March, 2017 09:46:41 AM
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Severe pollution perishes Shitalakkhya fish

Independent Online Desk
Severe pollution perishes Shitalakkhya fish

Shankar Das, a sexagenarian fisherman of Ispahani Jelepara in Bandar area of Narayanganj, has been catching fishes in the Shitalakkhya River since he was 10, but now he is facing hard time for lack of fishes in the river waters. Unchecked water pollution forces fishes to disappear from the river.

Fishing is his only occupation like other fishermen to bear the expenses of his family. But, he is now thinking of leaving his occupation since he cannot catch fish from the river for their survival.

“Fishes have disappeared fast in the Shitalakkhya River where I used to catch fishes. We experience scarcity of fish over the last 6-7 years,” said Shankar Das.

Noting that a fishing boat is his only dependence, he said he frequently goes to the river to catch fish using nets, but he fails to find any. “I may catch poor amount of fishes from the river, but this is not enough to lead our life. That’s why my family has been suffering a lot.”

Altaf Miah (77), another fisherman of Laksmankhula area in the district, said once he used to catch fishes from the Shitalakkhya River using fishing anchors, but now he does not put anchors in the river to catch fishes as there is no fish in the river.

Going down the memory lane, he said sitting on both the riverbanks many people had caught fishes from the river using fishing anchors in the past, but the scenario is completely different now as fishes rapidly disappeared from it.

Like Shankar Das and Alfat, all professional fishermen experience the same fate. The netting of fishes is not seen in the river nowadays. Many of them have already quit their occupation due to disappearance of fishes in the river, caused by unchecked water pollution.

Locals say a huge number of unplanned factories and industries were set up on the banks of the Shitalakkhya River and these industries and factories are continuously discharging waste into the river, putting aquatic animals at stake.

Continued discharge of chemical waste from factories and release of oil from water vessels have made the river water extremely polluted while fishes cannot survive in the highly polluted water, they said.

They claimed that dead fishes are often found in the river and if water pollution continues, fish species will totally disappear from the Shitalakkhya in near future.

According to the Department of Environment (DoE), dissolved oxygen (DO) level in water should be 6 parts per million (ppm) to survive aquatic species, including fishes, in water. But, the DO level is found about at 2 ppm in the Shitalakkhya during monsoon and it reaches almost zero level in dry season.

Unchecked encroachment and pollution of the river force its fish and aquatic into disappearance. Major portions of both banks of the 110-kilometre river, which flows through Narsigndi, Gazipur and Narayanganj districts and falls into the Dhaleswari River in Munshiganj district, has been brought under industrialisation over the years.

A large number of factories, including a fertiliser one, thermal power plant, textiles and dyeing, have been set up along the river from Ghorashal to Munshiganj through encroachment and those are polluting the river.unb

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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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