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3 October, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 3 October, 2018 12:22:15 AM
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SOS for the Buriganga

SOS for the Buriganga

The most abysmal ecological degradation around the capital involves the famous Buriganga River, which has been the major water body of Dhaka for 400 years.  Unfortunately, decades of unrelenting encroachment, reckless occupation, mindless pollution and arbitrary filling up have seen the old channel of the river dwindle into a trickle of canals.  The impact of this has been disastrous as the environmental balance has been severely hampered. Reportedly, a group of unethical people, colluding with corrupt officials of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority, BIWTA, and local political bigwigs are engaged in systematic devastation of the river by carrying out unplanned construction over filled areas. This trend is copied all around the city, resulting in the catastrophic decline of water bodies. It’s revealed by Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS) that once a city of ponds, Dhaka has lost 90 per cent of water-bodies and 54 species of fish.

The exploitation of the Buriganga has been flagged before which led to a few eviction drives with little or minimum impact. Over time, venal sections have emerged, supported by political parties to grab more areas, taking the river on the verge of death. On top of the rampant occupation, the water areas that remain are filled with sewage and waste products from nearby housing estates, resulting in an abominable stench. The problem is a massive one and there is no single method to tackle the multifaceted destruction of the river. Therefore, the government first needs a strategy, on which a ‘save the river’ campaign can be launched. But for an immediate step, certain sections of the Buriganga can be leased out to private entities to turn them into water filled leisure areas. This method will save the river from dying, provide a riverside entertainment area plus ensure income for the private firm in charge.

To make the proposal alluring, a special tax rebate for business houses wanting to come forward to save the river may be declared along with a prime minister’s prize for civic duty. Secondly, the nexus between political high-ups and dishonest government officials need to be identified and snapped without any leniency. There is no denying that much of the ecological harm carried out across the nation from hill cutting to illegal stone lifting, is performed by manipulating political links. Unless the top authority issues a firm warning and instructs the relevant authorities to be stringent, ecological assets cannot be saved.

The city corporation can also create a social media platform to launch fundamental work to raise awareness about saving the river.

 

 

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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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