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15 July, 2016 00:00 00 AM
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The Buriganga pollution

Crores of taka had allegedly been misused in the past in the name of freeing the river from pollution. A section of people reaped the benefits

There is no denying the fact that indiscriminate dumping of industrial effluents over the past few years has polluted the river Buriganga, the lifeline of the capital. There was a time when water of the river was crystal-clear and even drinkable. Years of neglect and lack of care and maintenance are responsible for the present pitiable condition of the river. The disaster is mainly manmade. According to a report in this newspaper yesterday, industrial wastes flowing through the three major points other than Hazaribagh one, need to be plugged to save the river, since the relocation of Hazaribagh tanneries will help improve only 15-20 per cent of the river’s water quality. Industrial effluents are now dumped into the Buriganga through four major points—Hazaribagh, Shyampur, Pagla and Dholaikhal.
As per the Bangladesh Environment Conservation Act, 1995, no one can pollute a river, but the Buriganga is being polluted everywhere violating the law. Encroachment of the river is also going on. Apart from stopping pollution by Hazaribagh’s tanneries, the authorities should stop all pollution sources one after another to save all the city rivers, including the Buriganga. It is surprising to note that over 80,000 cubic metres of untreated industrial wastes are dumped every day into the Buriganga and about 15-20 per cent of that comes from 200 tanneries located at Hazaribagh.
Crores of taka had allegedly been misused in the past in the name of freeing the river from pollution. A section of people reaped the benefits. There was lack of proper monitoring, supervision, accountability and transparency of the works done. Scores of industries are dumping toxic and hazardous effluents into the river everyday. It must be checked forthwith. The authorities concerned must compel the industry and factory owners to set up Effluent Treatment Plants (ETPs) at their industries and factories to avoid dumping of untreated industrial waste, which is a major cause of Buriganga’s pollution. ETPs can also be set up under government initiative.  
Household and solid waste disposal into the river is also contributing to pollution which must be checked. Mere utterance of platitudes will not do; what is needed is concrete action. There is no alternative to saving the Buriganga from pollution as it concerns the environment of the capital. The government will have to take effective and sustained measures in this regard. Environmentalists and members of the civil society should also play their roles effectively.

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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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