National, Back Page

Jamuna river narrowing project

HC summons documents

Published : 28 May 2023 10:25 PM

The High Court has summoned some files related to the project that was taken to reduce the width of Jamunariver, the second largest river in the country. 

The authorities concerned of the Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) was asked to submit all the documents related to the project within next ten day.

The HC bench of Justice Farah Mahbub and Justice Mohammad Mahbubul Islam issued the order on Sunday (May 28) following a writ petition.

Advocate ManzilMorshed, a senior lawyer of Bangladesh Supreme Court, took part in the hearing for the writ petition while Assistant Attorney General AbulKalam Khan Daud represented the state.

Earlier on March 13, a human rights organization named HRPB filed the writ petition on the issued following publication of news item in media over the project aimed at reducing the width of the river Jamuna without any study.

The project proposal made by the Bangladesh Water Development Board to reduce the width of the Jamuna river to 6.5 kilometres  from 15 kilometres.  It was said in the writ petition that such project taken 

by a government body  was ‘unscientific and absurd.’ The major natural disasters might occur in the near future if such ‘an ill-fated project’ was implemented on such a large river.

Rights activists and environmentalists said that that if the project is implemented without proper research, there would be no water flow in many places of the river and ground water level would drop in those areas. At the same time, agriculture, fisheries, biodiversity, livelihood and ecology may be affected.

The downstream environment of Jamunariver and other structures including the Padma Bridge and the Jamuna Bridge may be adversely affected. 

It is noted that the Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) under the Ministry of Water Resources has prepared the project proposal at a cost of Tk 1,110 crore to reduce the width of the Jamunariver.

The Ministry of Water Resources has already sent the proposed project titled ‘Sustainable Infrastructure for Jamuna River Bank Protection and Risk Mitigation’ to the Planning Commission.

Advocate ManzilMorshed said that taking such a project for narrowing the Jamunariver is illogical and against the ecology and environment. Bangladesh is a riverine country. If river dies, Bangladesh will die. Jamuna is the second largest river in the country. 

The river has to be saved for country’s existence. On the other hand, many rivers, canals and waterbodies in the country rely on the river. So, the river must not be narrowed, he added.