Save Buriganga from pollution

Devise schemes to conduct sustained cleaning operation

Published : 20 Feb 2022 07:34 PM

It is discouraging to note that the mighty river Buriganga, once addressed as the lifeline of Dhaka, is now on the verge of extinction due to unabated grabbing and pollution. Over the last couple of decades encroachment and excessive amounts of pollution has caused the water of Buriganga to become unusable and unsustainable for aquatic life. 

Environmentalists have long been crying hoarse for devising measures to save the river Buriganga from pollution and grabbing. The water of Buriganga is now polluted to such an extent that all fishes have died and rowing across the river is now difficult because of its bad odour. It needs to be mentioned that thousands of illegal sewerage lines are emptying sewage into the river. On top of that, a huge amount of burnt petrol and human waste from river vessels is being spilled into the river every day.

It is time to stop continuous 

discharge of thousands of tons of 

industrial waste, garbage, and sewage

Reportedly, the canals in several areas including Mohammadpur, Riverboat, Hazaribagh, Kalunagar, Bhagalpur, Nawabganj, Shahidnagar, Kamaldanga, Islambagh adjoining the Buriganga old channel in the western part of Dhaka are on the brink of drying up.  The areas face major problems such as severe waterlogging during the monsoon season with little rainfall. To tackle the problem, Poribesh Bachao Andolon (POBA) has demanded closing down all the civic facilities including water, electricity and gas supply to the factories and houses those have been built by occupying the Buriganga old channel.

Thames River is a glaring example of how a dead river can be saved by implementing actions fuelled by consciousness and concerted efforts. In 1957, The Natural History Museum declared the Thames River biologically dead. Now, Thames is one of the cleanest city rivers in the world. A concrete British consciousness and concerted efforts on the part of the London city administrators helped to revive the river. Hence, we still can be optimistic about giving Buriganga a new life.

It is time to stop the continuous discharge of thousands of tons of industrial waste, garbage, and sewage. The government should formulate and implement necessary policies and develop legal and strategic framework based on a new and reinvigorated perception on the present condition of the Buriganga. A strategic, holistic and sustainable waste management practice should be reinforced by the authorities concerned, factory owners and conscious citizens.