Filling up the canals and reservoirs threatening the environment in Bangladesh
The main reason for waterlogging in the country’s cities is the occupation or filling of canals and reservoirs. Despite the government’s repeated instructions in this regard, no one is obeying. Even government agencies ignore all laws and regulations and engage in these destructive activities.
The last sample of which we saw was in Kaliyajuri of Comilla city. Comilla Central Jail authorities are constructing five 14-story buildings there. One by one, multi-storied buildings have sprung up inside a vast green pond.
The building plasterers and the surrounding area have filled with soil. However, no permission took for this. Environmentalists and local well-wishers have expressed outrage over the incident.
Last year, the deputy commissioner hung a signboard claiming ownership of 27 ha. of land in the reservoir. The jail authorities then filed a case in the district judge’s court claiming ownership of that reservoir. The building removes amid a dispute between the deputy commissioner and the jail authorities over the water body.
The buildings are constructed to accommodate prison officials and staff. The simple confession of the prison authorities is that since the government has allocated funds for the development work, no one has been allowed to fill up the water body.
Every winter, thousands of migratory birds come to the water body adjacent to the Deputy Commissioner’s bungalow. It is also home to a variety of plants and animals.
The construction of multi-story buildings there is undoubtedly a threat to biodiversity. This reservoir also plays a significant role in reducing the waterlogging of the city during the monsoon.
Ali Akbar, General Secretary of Bangladesh Environment Movement (BAPA) Comilla District, said, “If government agencies fill the reservoirs, then where will we go?” This environmentally destructive work should stop immediately. “
The deputy commissioner said, “As per Government order to fill any waterbody need from Prime Minister’s Office approval. However, they have not issued one. This means that the prison authorities are not even bothering the Prime Minister’s Office. The subject is very frustrating.”
“Now, if the government agency builds the facility by filling the reservoir, the ordinary people will also be encouraged to build the structures by filling the pond.
There is no alternative but to save the water body of the Kaliajuri area to save the ponds and water bodies of Comilla.. If necessary, separate land should provide for the prison buildings. I am drawing high-level attention from the government to rescue the reservoir,” he added.