The Shitalakshya River lost its color due to pollution
Today I will tell you the story of a river, the name of which is Shitalakshya flowing in just the middle of Bangladesh. It’s downstream of the Old Brahmaputra River, starting from the boundary of Mymensingh district and ending at the Dhaleshwari River at Narayangonj.
The river travels around 110 km through Gazipur, Narsingdi, and Narayanganj districts near Dhaka before flowing at Dhaleswari.
As it flows through the districts near the capital of Bangladesh, this river has played an important role in the lives of the people in various ways, including communication systems, agricultural work, and fish production.
But in the name of modernity, the water of today’s Shitalakshya river has become polluted in many ways. Today’s article reviews our water quality over the past 45 years.
In the years after the independence of Bangladesh, the water quality of the Shitalakshya river was suitable for fish and various aquatic animals and plants.
According to environmental standards, the minimum Dissolved Oxygen (DO) required for fish and other aquatic animals is 5 ppm (mg/liter).
According to the Department of Environment (Bangladesh), DoE, BD,, the amount of Dissolved Oxygen (DO) in the water of the Shitalakshya river in 1975 was 8.1 (mg/liter). This means that the dissolved oxygen in the river water was moderate.
Recent experiments have shown that the Shitalakshya river’s DO decrease drastically. In a study conducted on 3 December 2021, entitled “Investigation of the water of six central rivers in Bangladesh,” the DO of the Shitalakshya river found was 2.44 (mg/liter).
Not only that, in another study named “WATER QUALITY INDEX (WQI) OF SHITALAKSHYA RIVER,” published in November 2021, the presence of DO in Shitalakshya river was found at 2.6 (mg/liter), indicate not suitable for aquatic animals and plants.
Not only DO but also Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) in the water of the Shitalakshya river is significantly less than required. As per environmental standards, 1-2 ppm (mg/liter) of BOD is suitable for fish and other aquatic animals.
In 1975, found the BOD of the Sitalakkha river was 1.75 mg/liter, which was within the environmental limits. But in recent times, the level of BOD in the water of the Shitalakshya river has increased a lot. The 2021 study of WATER QUALITY INDEX (WQI) OF SHITALAKSHYA RIVER found that BOD was 4.9 mg/liter.
The Dhaka Tribune has published a report on the condition of the Shitalakshya river. In the report, Akbar Mia, a 65-year-old local fisherman, said, “As a boy, he used to fish a lot in this river, but over time, fish are no longer seen in this river.”
Not only Akbar Mia, but hundreds of fishers also used to make a living by fishing in this river. Now the families of those fishermen are living in misery as fish cannot find them due to water pollution.
AB Siddiqui said, Joint Secretary of Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA), said, “The [Shitalakshya] river is one of the important resources in the district as well as in the country. Once the water of the river used for domestic purposes.”
Md Moinul Haque, Inspector of DoE’s Narayanganj office, said, “The River is being polluted from several pointed and non-pointed sources, including untreated sewerage inputs from the towns, wastewater from Industries.
And also polluted from other numerous contaminates sources, such as small-manufacturing facilities and significant non-point agricultural activities”.
An official of the DoE, Narayanganj Zone, who did not want to be named, said, “Many factories have ETP plants. Although ETP plants are built to avoid fines or administrative hassle, they are not used because the owners claim that using them costs a lot of money every day.
Chemical water from many dyeing and industrial plants is being discharged directly into the river through alternative pipes to save cost. And because they do more work at night, they are not easily caught.
When we visit the factory during the day, it is shown that there is an ETP plant. Huge-sized tanks are placed next to the plant. Toxic water accumulates there during the day. At night it is thrown into the river”.
In this way, the river that was only 45 years ago has free movement of fish; due to our unplanned industrialization, today, there is no condition for fish to live in that river.