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11:58 pm | April 24, 2024
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the rivers in bangladesh have now become the property of encroachers
Bangladesh Environmental crime Environmental Science

The rivers in Bangladesh have now become the property of encroachers

The rivers in Bangladesh have now become the property of encroachers

A river is a flowing stream, acting in flood control. But the river has become, in Bangladesh, like the property of polluters, encroachers, and sandbaggers. Environmentalists suggested that it is essential to keep a hotline to protect the rivers in Bangladesh.

The speakers said these things at the discussion meeting organized on this year’s theme, “River Rights,” in Dhaka.

The event was jointly organized by Bangladesh Citizens’ Movement, Bangladesh River Foundation, River and Delta Research Center (RDRC), Bangladesh Nadi Paribarajak Dal, Nature Conservation Management, Nadi Adhikar Manch, River Bangla with the support of USAID at the initiative of Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA), Environment and River Conservation Foundation, Center for Tourism Study, Nature and Life Foundation, Halda River Research Laboratory, and Anchor Trust.

Speakers at the event emphasized the importance of protecting the river and its surroundings to ensure its rights are respected.

According to Syeda Rizwana Hasan, executive director of BELA, “Rivers in Bangladesh are being encroached and polluted. But not all news is published in the media.

So, it is essential to have a hotline to protect the river. A river is a flowing stream, acting in flood control. The rights of rivers center around humanity.”

The river has now become the property of usurpers, encroachers, and sand eaters. The Bangladesh River Protection Commission is currently in the process of revising the list of rivers. A health card should be created to protect the river and monitor pollution.

The Ministry of Environment and BIWTI should work together to ban plastics on ships or in tourist areas. BIWTA requests to work on health cards to protect navigation, sand mining, plastic pollution, and river health.

 In the event’s opening speech, the Chairman of Bangladesh River Foundation, MD. Monir Hossain said, “Although Bangladesh is the motherland of rivers, we have distanced ourselves from the river. To know the river, you have to go to the river, you have to travel, you have to create a relationship with the river.”

The Chairman of RDRC and river researcher, Mohammad Ejaz, highlighted in his speech that the people living by the river and depending on it for their livelihood are the principal owners of the river, The rights of the river, the rights of the riparian communities have to be taken into consideration.”

Currently, river pollution is decentralized. The river’s biodiversity is under threat today, with the river losing its existence due to influential syndicates. BIWTA’s current work in river protection is commendable. I look forward to more work in the future.

Chairman of Bangladesh River Foundation Md. Monir Hossain showed photographs of Turag, Labandah, Haridhoa, Someshwari, and Sutang, the most polluted rivers in the country.

Labondah-Gazipur Representative Said Chowdhury, Narsingdi Environment Andolan Secretary Praloy, Save the Environment Movement (PABA)-Old Dhaka activist Salim, Mangsyajivi community leader Nitya Rajbanshi and many others spoke in the community discussion.

Labandah-Gazipur representative Mr. Said Chowdhury said that the bridges should be raised to save the Labandah River. The government should come forward with this. The river cannot be divided in the name of movement.

Praloy, editor of Narsingdi Environment Movement, said, once trawlers used to travel in the Haridhwaa River. But now it is impossible to go to the river bank due to encroachment and pollution.

Concerned people should come forward to protect the river from the encroachment of Narsingdi industrial area.

Salim, a worker of PABA, said, “I used to go to play Kamrangi char through the Buriganga river. But now the river cannot be crossed due to pollution. Sewage lines that fall directly into the river have to be refined and discharged into the river.”

Hossain Mohammad said, “Most of the places of Brahmaputra river pollution are caused due to LGED. There were rivers with catchment areas earlier, but they have now become canals due to encroachment. LGED has narrow types that bridge the river and reduce the river’s flow, which a government task force has to be formed to prevent.”

Boatman Amjad Ali Lal said, “BIWTA cleans the river by dredging, while others pollute the river. Everyone is taking over the river. My grandson tells me, where is Dadu River? It is now a canal. Along with the river, we also need to clean our lives.”

 BIWTA’s worker Arif Ahmed said, “We must take the next generation to the river. I grew up on the banks of river Padma. The banks of the river were flooded during the monsoon season. Now, the banks of the river are silted up. We hope that the seminar that we have conducted will be effective and not limited here.”

BIWTA Chairman Commodore Arif Ahmed Mostafa was the chief guest on the occasion. The chief guest said in his discussion, “My maternal grandfather’s house is on the bank of Rupganj Shitalakshya river. I used to learn to swim there, but the river is now under threat due to pollution. Rivers are places of emotions, like veins.”

According to the verdict of the court, the river should be regulated. Being a navy man, he has a love for rivers. At present, there is pollution due to shipbuilding.

The land is one of the sources of pollution. 5-7% from ship. The government has taken initiatives to limit the pollution. 130 sources of pollution have been identified in Dhaka.

But if it is closed, it will become impossible to live. Industries must dispose of waste by the law. All environmental activists must coordinate. BIWTA works with legal aid. The places of sand lifting should be inspected, how much sand will be lifted, and from where should be specified.

 Apart from the Bangladesh River Protection Commission draft list, we are doing a project to create the river route along the CS map. A pilot project is underway to tackle plastic pollution in rivers. We will ban plastic at all ports within a month. Next year, the BIWTA will host its floating meeting on River Day.

Advocate Shafiq said about the river’s rights, “The verdict of the Supreme Court is that the river is a living entity. To protect the river’s rights, the highest words should be spoken. River rights are like human rights. Everyone is invited to watch the river.

Faisal Ahmed, editor of River Bangla, said that work should be done to protect the river. Movement should be taken consistently. You have to fight continuously. Everyone has the river straight. We have to work together.”

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