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2:04 am | July 13, 2024
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rivers are endangered today due to various reasons, including encroachment pollution
Bangladesh Environment Protection

Rivers are endangered today due to various reasons, including encroachment-pollution: Rizwana Hasan

Rivers are endangered today due to various reasons, including encroachment-pollution: Rizwana Hasan

Syeda Rizwana Hasan, Chief Executive of the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA) stated that the country’s rivers face multiple threats, such as encroachment and pollution, endangering their existence. The political will we need to protect these rivers needs to be more present.

She said these things while addressing a workshop held at the BDS Auditorium on Sadar Road in Barishal Town on August 09, 2023. Organizers of the environmental and river protection movement from six districts of the Barishal division, conscious citizens, and media workers participated in the workshop.

 Syeda Rizwana Hasan said, ‘”Conscious citizens must play a vocal role in protecting our river from encroachment and pollution. Pressure should increase to make the common people aware of the action plan for river protection. For this, BELA is committed to providing legal and other benefits as much as possible.”

Rafiqul Alam, Barisal divisional coordinator of Bangladesh Environment Movement (BAPA), said, “After the construction of Padma Bridge, there is talk of the massive potential of industrialization in the southern region. If industrialization expands, it will be along the riverbanks, we can safely say.

This would mean finalizing the river-killing settlement. For this, the initiative should take to determine the borders of the rivers in this region and declare them as environmentally sensitive areas. For this, it should determine the boundaries of the rivers after completing the survey. Otherwise, the existence of these rivers will endanger us.

The keynote at the workshop was presented by BELA’s Departmental Coordinator, Lincoln Byen. Shah Md Rafiqul Islam, Barisal Additional Deputy Commissioner (Revenue), spoke as a guest.

Deputy Director of Divisional Environment Directorate AHM Rashed, Barisal District Executive Engineer of Water Development Board Rakib Hossain, District Conscious Citizen Committee (SANAK) President Principal Gazi Zahid Hossain, Barisal Canal-River Protection Committee Organizer Anwar Zahid, Barisal Metropolitan President of Citizens for Good Governance (SUJAN) Principal Abdul Motaleb Howlader, Journalist Sushant Ghosh, Bhola Citizen Movement Leader Mobaswer Ullah, Barguna,s Environmentalist Mushfiq Arif, and among others spoke at the meeting.

Speakers said that the pharmaceutical industry and a cement factory had occupied a large part of the Dapadapiya area at the mouth of the Sugandya and Kirtankhola rivers. Due to this, both river pollution and encroachment are accelerating.

Similarly, constructing three coal-based power plants in Ramnabad of Kalapara, Bishkhali-Paira-Baleshwar in the Taltali area of ​​Barguna endangers that area’s river pollution and environment.

Similarly, as three gas fields have been discovered in Bhola, preparations are underway for industrialization there. If these are stopped, protecting Meghna, Tentulia, and adjacent rivers will be possible.

Speakers also said that more than 66 percent of the total Hilsa fish in the country is extracted from the Barishal division. But this production is under threat due to river pollution, loss of navigability, and encroachment. A polythene and non-biodegradable material layer fell under the Kirtankhola River, disrupting the excavation.

It should make aware the government, administration, and ordinary people of these bans. Citizens should also develop the mindset of protecting and caring for rivers. In the workshop, representatives from different districts highlighted various recommendations to safeguard the region’s rivers, canals, and reservoirs.

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