PM for saving rivers to protect country
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said the rivers must be saved to protect Bangladesh.
"We have to do dredging and maintain navigability. We have to go for river dredging to stop erosion," the premier said.
She was speaking at the cabinet room of her office during a meeting on the presentation of the survey report and the policy decision for the adoption of the related project in light of the master plan to prevent pollution and protect the navigability of the rivers around Dhaka.
Hasina said that after assuming power, the aim of her government was to protect the rivers, maintain its navigability and save those from pollution.
She recalled that during the first tenure of her government, river dredging started and the silt was used for land reclamation.
In the name of river training, once it was normal phenomena to build embankments that had heavy toll on the fertile crop lands, the PM said.
The industries that are constructed beside the rivers usually dump its wastes in the rivers, she said.
"All waste of the sewerage lines also goes to the rivers resulting in increasing pollution," she said.
The premier said it is very painful that bad smell comes from Buriganga river due to the pollution.
"Whatever we do, we have to keep in mind first the waste management," she said.
Hasina also opted to set up small treatment plants in different parts of Dhaka city to save the rivers around the capital.
For river training, she said the depth of a river has to be considered.
"And we must have to create a buffer zone beside the river aiming to preserve the rainwater during monsoon," she added.
Hasina also put emphasis on coordinated efforts of all concerned authorities for any development plan keeping in mind the preservation of the environment.
"Since I came to power, I asked everyone to sketch plan for all cities. Whatever plan we take there should be wastage management and flow of water has to be maintained properly," she said.
She added that it was very regrettable that the country's development programmes did not take place in a planned way in the past.
"It didn't happen in the Pakistan period and even after 1975, the illegal state power grabbers, who came through violating the constitution with arms, did not pay attention to overall coordinated and planned development of the country," she continued.
As a result, the environmental issues were neglected and the rivers were also encroached, she said.