Rivers should be de-polluted through developing public awareness
In Bangladesh, the severely polluted Buriganga river spills into all the nearby rivers, including the Padma, the Meghna, the Jamuna, the Ariyal Khan, the Dhaleswari, and the Shitalakshys Rivers. This polluted water is flowing into the Bay of Bengal.
Experts say that if this situation continues, other rivers will also suffer severe pollution like the Buriganga. The Buriganga River in Dhaka, Bangladesh, has been used as a dumping ground for several decades.
All the waste of factories built on both banks of the capital is being dumped in the river. Pollution of Buriganga is not limited to this river anymore. It is spreading in the Padma and the Meghna estuaries of the Chandpur region. The paws of pollution are being felt in different parts of nearby the Arial Khan, the Gomti, the Dhaleswari, and the Shitalaksha rivers.
The Turag River is now a dead river due to encroachment and pollution. People who benefit from tax money have a responsibility to help prevent pollution and encroachment of the river.
Till now, the Meghna River is said to be the world’s leading clear-water river. At one time, the water of the Buriganga River and the Shitalakshya River were considered suitable for drinking.
The Buriganga River is now the most polluted river in the world because the administration, public representatives, and law enforcement agencies have shown indifference. The same is the case with the Turag and the Shitalakshya Rivers.
Bangladesh’s public administration lacks awareness about the importance of rivers as a natural resource. The Court of England has punished river squatters by cancelling many legal documents related to rivers based on the Justinian Code.
The Supreme Court of India upheld the ruling by fining the river encroachment ministers. River encroachment and pollution are widespread in Bangladesh.
It is necessary to punish those responsible as an example. Governments and parliaments should prioritize the protection of rivers and water bodies. It is disheartening that they lack sensitivity towards this issue.
The new parliament and government can bring about a change based on the new directions of the High Court, but it may happen later than expected. The High Court disqualified river squatters from participating in all types of elections and getting bank loans.
Now the big question will be who, or who are occupying the river? Who will be the competent authority for making such a list? We have seen discrimination in the case of borrowers. We would hope that river squatters would indeed be deprived of certain rights as part of the punishment.
The court has received various new issues that must be discussed in detail by the National Assembly for decision, legal person and a living entity. This concept is not the first in Bangladesh, it is also rare in the world.
Considering the recent High Court rulings, we need to urgently put certain measures into effect. Among Dhaka’s four rivers, only the Buriganga has been demarcated, poles installed and walkways constructed so far. These works of the remaining three rivers are largely left.
The progress of river dredging is also disappointing. For the time being, first, let the construction of boundary poles be completed. Doing this one thing can help stop the invaders a lot.
Many rivers of the country will suffer from pollution if the menace of pollution is not stopped. In the protection of all natural reservoirs, including rivers, more attention should be paid to building public awareness.
Students from all kinds of schools and colleges can actively work to prevent river encroachment and pollution.