To protect living beings in the Rivers in Bangladesh- An Initiative has taken by Bangladesh National River Conservation Commission
By Adnan Tazvir
The National River Conservation Commission has convened a discussion meeting to protect the rivers i.e. ‘living entity’ from rivers pollution and illegal occupation. In addition, to create a database regarding its information’s.
This discussion meeting was organized in the Tirnaihat Union Parishad hall room of Tetulia Upazila of Panchagarh, Bangladesh.
Ikramul Haque, Project Director and Joint Secretary, National River Conservation Commission, Selina Sultana, Project Program Officer, National River Conservation Commission, Sohag Chandra Saha, Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO), Rafiqul Islam, Chairman (UP), Tirnihat Union Parishad, public representatives and journalists were attended in that meeting.
Speakers at the meeting said that the rivers of the country have lost their livelihood due to both natural and man-made causes. The country’s population growth and various development projects have adversely affected the rivers and their living creatures. Just as there are natural causes for rivers navigability crisis and change, of course, there are also man-made causes. The rivers of the country are constantly being occupied illegally. The water coming from upstream are carrying excessive sand silts. Therefore, the rivers are silting and the navigability is decreasing.
Meanwhile, the representatives of the National River Conservation Commission said that according to Article 18A of the Constitution of Bangladesh, the state would provide environmental protection and development and protection of natural resources, biodiversity, wetlands, and wildlife for the present and future citizens of the country. The government is committed to ensuring the fulfillment of this constitutional responsibility. The Bangladesh Hon’ble High Court directed the
Department of Environment (Bangladesh) to ensure multi-dimensional use of the rivers for socio-economic development, including the illegal occupation of rivers, water, and environmental pollution, river pollution caused by factories, construction of illegal structures and various irregularities, and restoration of normal flow of rivers, proper maintenance and the development of rivers. Following the verdict of 3503/2009, the ‘National River Conservation Commission’ was formed under Act No. 29 of 2013. Later, in the judgment of Writ Petition No. 13989/2016, the High Court declared the river as a ‘Living Entity’ and referred to the ‘National River Conservation Commission’ as the ‘Legal Guardian’ of all the rivers in the country.
The National River Conservation Commission has already taken various initiatives and steps to protect rivers across the country. Following this, the National River Conservation Commission is implementing ‘Protecting 48 Rivers from River Pollution, Illegal Occupancy and Other Pollution and Creating River a Data Base System, including a Research Project ‘ to verify, restore and conserve the current condition of the rivers.
Under the project, survey work of the Mahananda River and Karatoya River have been started. Besides, there are many more rivers, including Tentulia River, Gobra river, Berang Nadi, DahukRiver, Versa River (ভেরসা নদী), Karatoya River, chawai river, Talma River through Tetulia Upazila. Advice and recommendations are given to the Upazila administrations and river users on the protection of these rivers and illegal occupation and river pollution. At the same time, stakeholders at all levels were called upon to look forward to the protection of the river and the Upazila administrations and river users were given advice and recommendations on illegal occupation and river pollution.