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10 February, 2016 00:00 00 AM
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Cleaning up Buriganga, Turag

Job goes to navy

Khulna Shipyard Ltd to desilt the two rivers for Tk 944cr
DEEPAK ACHARJEE
Job goes to navy

Having failed to clean up the Buriganga and Turag rivers and increase their flows, the government will now hand over the responsibility of desilting the rivers to the Bangladesh Navy. Khulna Shipyard Limited (KSL), an independent commercial enterprise operated by the Navy, is set to be selected to undertake the Tk. 944-crore Buriganga River Restoration Project (The new Dhaleswari-Pungli-Bongshai, Turag-Buriganga river system), said sources in the water resources ministry. The ministry has already prepared a proposal to select the naval firm for the project. It would be placed at the next meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), the sources added.
KSL expressed its interest in undertaking the project and sent a letter to the water resources ministry in this regard in November last year. In its proposal, KSL had expressed interest in dredging a total of 22.4 km of rivers: offtake dredging of 2.2km of the New Dhaleswari by dredgers, and operational and maintenance dredging of 20.2km of the Pungli. However, the water resources ministry has decided to dredge a total of 40.35km to increase the flow of the two rivers, the lifelines of the capital, according to the sources.
In the proposal, Dr Zafar Ahmed Khan, secretary of water resources ministry, said the flow of the rivers would be increased and pollution would be controlled upon successful completion of the project. “After the project is completed, the waterways would be restored and they would be protected from floods,” Khan said in the proposal. He also recommended to the Cabinet committee to hand the project over to KSL under the direct procurement method (DPM) process.
About 90,000 cubic metres of untreated industrial waste are being dumped into the Buriganga everyday, while tanneries of Hazaribagh discharge some 21,000 cubic metres of waste, containing chromium, lead and sulphuric acid, into the river, according to a Poribesh Bachao Andolon (POBA) report.
Owing to the unchecked disposal of industrial and household waste in the Buriganga, Turag, Balu and Shitalakkhya, the ecosystems of these rivers have been destroyed. No aquatic life survives in these rivers during the dry season as there is no dissolved oxygen.

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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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