Navy plan to control encroachment, pollution in Dhaka rivers

Navy plan to control encroachment, pollution in Dhaka rivers

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Dhaka – Bangladesh Navy has submitted a strategy before the government to control pollution and encroachment as well as maintaining proper navigability in four rivers that are considered the lifeline of capital Dhaka, official sources said, according to BSS.The rivers- Buriganga, Turag, Balu and Shitalakkya- provide platforms for low cost transportation of huge cargo and passenger everyday to and from Dhaka city, which alone accommodates an estimated 15 million people.
But these rivers have become extremely polluted over the years due to industrial wastes, their size being shrunk because of regular encroachment and their navigability are challenged due to siltation and lack of maintenance, yesterday shipping ministry sources said.
Chief of Bangladesh Naval Staff Admiral Nizam Uddin Ahmed submitted the strategy in papers before a meeting held at the Shipping Ministry with Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan in the chair, after two months of hard work done by a seven-member team formed by the ministry earlier.
The strategy suggests two concrete steps that need to be taken into consideration immediately. And these include: identifying the root causes of river pollutions, encroachment and poor navigability within one year, and clean wastes from river bed and increase navigability accordingly. It also suggested for some short, middle and long term activities for a total period of five years.
Shajahan Khan said the government has chosen Bangladesh Navy to do the huge task as the ministry lack in adequate manpower to do so. He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has her personal commitment to protect the rivers and the government would take all necessary measures to save all fragile rivers of the country- not only the rivers along Dhaka city.
The minister said steps were taken earlier to remove wastes from the River Buriganga and it could not see the expected results as the riverbed was full of non bio-degradable polythene bags and papers. He, however, hoped that this time the initiative would see a success as the Navy has decided to do the work under a task force, which would include members from sectors concerned.
Shipping Secretary Ashok Madhab Roy and Environment Secretary Jamal Uddin, among others, were present.

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