Ensure sustained flow of common rivers, Farakka Day call

Ensure sustained flow of common rivers, Farakka Day call

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Water experts and activists at a discussion meeting at the Tangail Public Library on Saturday underlined the need for raising awareness of the people about the need for sustained flow of the common rivers for Bangladesh’s existence, life, livelihood, environment and biodiversity.
Taking part in a discussion meeting marking the 39th anniversary of the Farakka Long March they said Moulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani has united the people through the epic march to draw attention to all to the miseries Bangladesh faced due to diversion of Ganges water.Dr. SI Khan, vice president, International Farakka Committee (IFC), Bangladesh was the chief guest at the meeting organised by the Moulana Bhashani Foundation with its president Nazimuddin Ahmed in the chair. The meeting was also addressed by Poet Bulbul Khan Mahbub, adviser to the foundation, Awlad Hossain Khan, sr vice chairman, IFC New York, Mostafa Kamal Majumder, editor GreenWatch Dhaka and coordinator IFC, Syed Irfanul Bari, general secretary, IFC Bangladesh and Mahmudul Huq Shanu, general secretary of the foundation among others.
Dr. SI Khan called for organising a grand rally of lakhs of people to draw attention to the plight of prople living at the downstream of the Ganges and the Teesta because of the diversion of their water at uopstream.
He said while the 30-year Ganges Water Sharing Treaty has started proving its futility because of the absence of minimum flow guarantee and arbitration clauses while the irrigation project taken up in Bangladesh part of the Teesta was becoming useless due to diversion of water of the river at upstream.
Khan said the people of the country should attract the attention of the big neighbour as well as the rest of the world to the environmental degradation they faced due to diversion of water of 52 common rivers. He said the government can pursue solution of the problem taking inspiration from the verdict on the maritime boundary, and the resolution of the border agreement.
Poet Bulbul Khan Mahbub reminisced from the historic Farakka Long March that he took part and said Moulana Bhashani led the campaign at the age of 96. He could do so because of his commitment to the people. He said Bangladesh started losing ground on the question of management of water of common rivers because a section of leaders who were busy attending invitations of hosts in Kolkata remained more preoccupied with their gratitude to them than concentrating on the interests of the people. Truth shall pravail and people shall overcome the problems they are now facing.
Awlad Hossain Khan said that the IFC which had built a movement for water rights of the people at home and abroad would pursue it till achieving those rights. He said there was a time when some political parties used to shy away from demanding integrated management of common rivers. Due to movement of IFC that barrier has now been broken and most parties are speaking on the issue of sharing common rivers.
Mostafa Kamal Majumder said the historic long march was not directed against any country or people but represented the demand of the people of Bangladesh to secure their water and environmental rights. People now understand what has happened to the southwestern part of Bangladesh due to excessive diversion of Ganges water. He said IFC has succeeded through its concerted efforts not only to bring leaders of all political parties to one table to discuss water problems but also evoke participation of water experts from India in the management of water of common rivers. The voices of Indian experts add to the weight of the points made by water experts and activists in Bangladesh. He called for introducing lessons on the Farakka Long Match in text books, because the new generation of citizens should be well aware of the importance of continued flow of the rivers in riverine Bangladesh.
Syed Irfanul Bari said Moulana Bhashani had taken part in the Farakka Long March by defying advices of doctors of the then PG Hospital where he had been admitted at the age of 96. He deplored that lessons on Moulana Bhashani from primary and secondary text books have been dropped and demanded their restoration. – Staff Reporter

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