Rivers in dire straits

Discharging untreated waste into rivers must be stopped

Published : 02 Oct 2022 08:32 PM

It is disconcerting to note that authorities concerned still have not been able to control the dumping of industrial effluents, domestic sewage, clinical wastes and solid wastes into rivers surrounding the capital. Environmentalists have long been crying hoarse for devising intervention on the part of the government to save the rivers in and around the capital. Earlier in 2019, the High Court issued a 17-point directive to  save the country’s rivers and water-bodies. Also, the Prime Minister herself has repeatedly directed the ministries to take necessary measures to save our rivers. Yet, our rivers continue to turn into drains.

 Murky water of the rivers surrounding capital Dhaka spreads foul odour all the time as untreated industrial effluent, urban wastewater, agro-chemicals, sewage water and solid waste are being dumped in the rivers. Six rivers – the Buriganga, Sitalakhya, Bangshi, Turag, Balu, and Dhaleshawri – flowing around Dhaka are currently known as the “biologically dead rivers.” We have come to know that these are being polluted from more than 300 drains connected with these rivers. Reportedly, at least 3.5 lakh kilograms of liquid waste and solid garbage are being mixed with river water every day through these drains.

We must stop the continuous 

discharge of thousands of tons of

 industrial waste, garbage, and 

sewage into the rivers

Most of the rivers in and around the capital have been illegally occupied by influential quarters and various institutions destroying the entire ecological balance and natural beauty. Considering the poor condition of rivers in and around Dhaka, authorities concerned should come up with prudent steps to save them from pollution and encroachment. What is needed is to rethink the sewage system of the capital and take necessary steps to stop the practice of wastage dumping into the rivers. Necessary steps should be taken to treat all liquid waste from industries, households and other establishments at effluent treatment plants (ETPs) before it ends up in rivers.

We must stop the continuous discharge of thousands of tons of industrial waste, garbage, and sewage into the rivers. Besides, steps should be taken so that new installations could not be built filling rivers. In this regard, a concerted and well-deployed move fuelled by adequate allocation of resources to save our rivers has become the need of the hour.