The Mayur and Hatiya River Facing Crisis of Existence Due To Illegal Possession and Pollution
By Sadia Noor Portia (7th semester – English Department,
Independent University, Bangladesh)
Khulna’s Mayur and Hatia rivers are in the crisis of existence in just three years of excavation. Though 12 km of the Mayur and Hatia rivers were excavated only three years ago at a cost for 14 crores to remove waterlogging, the original aims and objectives are not achieved.
Visiting both sides of the Mayur River from the area adjacent to the Gollamari Bridge, it is seen that domestic dirt and garbage along with polythene have been stacked everywhere in the sides of the River.
There is an elevated flat land in the middle of the River, which is covered by dry water hyacinth. Green grass is grown somewhere on the other side. The peoples of both parties are crossing the River by making a high – steady path.
According to Khulna City Corporation, seven main drains of Khulna metropolis are connected directly with and being drained into these two rivers. As a result, these rivers are being filled up with the municipality’s waste within a short period. In some places, the River has also been illegally occupied.
Because of this, waterlogging occurs in the city even if there is little rain. Therefore, the City Corporation has given particular emphasis to ensure the tide of these two rivers by removal of alluvium and dirt from the beneath of both rivers under the Urban Development Project.
For this, a project was undertaken to excavate at least 11.66 km of the two rivers under the KCC’s CRDP (Urban Development Project), and the project cost was Tk. 1452.51 lacs, under ADB assistance.
The tender was floated on 6 October 2013, and the work order was issued on 13 December of the same year. In the phase -I, the excavation work was started manually at the upstream dry parts of the rivers, and then in the period- II, the excavation was carried out using local or hopper dredger at the deepest parts of the River. The excavations were completed in 2016.
Regarding this, the residents opined that water was cleaned only in the name of excavation on both rivers. There was no such existence of excavated soil that was seen during the excavation, except some polythene was picked up and placed on both sides of the rivers.
Because the local or hopper dredgers are not capable of dredging rivers, but the Cutter Section Dredger is. As a result, the status quo remains. For this reason, the City Corporation’s initiatives have failed. The River should have been excavated in a section-wise manually by the constriction of temporary cross bunds and using bailing out system.
Qudrat-i-Khuda, district secretary of the “Su-Shashon er Jonno Nagorik – SUJAN (Good Governance For The Peoples),” an NGO, said that though it was programmed to excavate of the both of the rivers as well as removal of dirt, it was only clean the water of the rivers which was removed in the name of excavation.
The soil with the roots of the hyacinth still exists underwater even after the excavation. Besides, what was picked up in the excavation, have fallen again into the River due to the rain. As a result, this situation has arisen within a short period. So, it needs to be excavated quickly manually.
Accepting irregularities in the river excavation, Mayor Talukder Abdul Khalek said that the work of excavation of the River Mayur and Hatia did not take place according to the calculations.
There have been significant thefts. The misery has been created due to extensive irregularities and corruption in the excavation. Therefore, DUDOK (Anti-Corruption Commission) should do a proper investigation and take necessary measures.
It is learned that with the joint funding of the Government of the Netherlands and Bangladesh, a new project has been undertaken around the Mayur River.
The feasibility study has already begun. Under the project, a protection wall, walkway on both sides, open spaces, and a bridge will be constructed along with the excavation of the Mayur River.