– By Rahman Mahfuz
The river Buriganga flows in the south-west of Dhaka City. On the west side of Dhaka city, the river Turag and a branch of Dhaleshwari meet with at the upstream of Gabtoli (Mirpur) and form the river Buriganga. Dhaka is the capital and main commercial center of Bangladesh.
In the fourth century, Dhaka city was going to form itself. As Dhaka was surrounded by many rivers, Mughal emperor Jahangir established it as the capital in the year 1610 for the sake of security and naval facilities. At that time Dhaka was called Jahangirnagar. But in 1704, Dhaka lost its capital status as Mughals moved the capital to Murshidabad. Next In 1757, the British East India Company occupied the whole of Bengal except Dhaka. It took another 8 years for them to subdue Dhaka. During British rule, due to the partition of Bengal, Dhaka again became of the capital in 1905. But due to revoke the partition of Bengal in 1911, Dhaka lost its capital status again.
From 1947, during the Pakistan period, Dhaka was the provincial capital. After the independence of Bangladesh in 1971, Dhaka becomes its capital.
During its first stage, Dhaka was treated as the Venice of the East, in the long run; the Buriganga lost its shape and became almost dead. Now this river has become one of the top-ranking polluted rivers in the world. At present, the average depth and width of the river are 10 meters and 400 meters respectively. The total length of it is 25 km. Still, during the rainy season at night, when the river becomes full to the bream, it looks like Venice. The tanneries of Hazaribagh recently shifted from Dhaka to Savar, are also responsible for the pollution of the Buriganga.
To revive the Buriganga,
- To be stopped municipal solid waste dumping and liquid waste disposal without treatment.
- To be stopped all types of industrial disposal without treatment through ETP.
- To be protected solid and liquid waste disposal/dumping from launches/ steamers.
- To be protected oil leakage from ships/oil tankers.
- To be prevented the entering of oil-fired vessels in the river. If possible, the river port may be transferred aside to Fatulla or Pagla.
- To be closed the brickfields adjacent to Dhaka.
- To be closed all the ship manufacturing and repairing industries from the bank of the Buriganga.
- To be dredged the Buriganga along with its connecting rivers in the proper way following proper design and alignment.
Till now many initiatives have been taken by the Government of Bangladesh to protect the Buriganga from contamination, pollution & death. But lack of proper coordination, the continuation of works, no initiatives brought fruitful results. To achieve the targeted result, it needs:
- A social movement
- Government’s political commitment
- Peoples’ Participation
- Awareness developments among the local people along with all the stakeholders.
- Ensure coordination with all the relevant GoB’s agencies
- Ensure NGO’s involvement
- Ensue print and electronic media’s involvement
A question may be raised, is it possible to revert the Buriganga River in its previous stage?
The answer should be ‘yes’. Because we,
- Earned Independency within only nine months by a blood shade war.
- Removed starving from the country.
- Eliminated illiteracy and increased literacy rate in a short time.
- Succeed on poverty reduction, gender equalization, coastal belt afforestation and plantation.
- succeed over the acid violation.
- Stopped open space smoking, etc.
- Now, on the way to the success of electrification for all, etc.
So, why not we will succeed to save the Buriganga?
If Buriganga will survive, Dhaka will be saved. We can save Buriganga if we desire, it needs just to start in the right way at the right time.
Ref: Google and Wikipedia