The Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) formed a committee yesterday to review its under-construction residential area named “Ananna Abashik” after being accused of channelling effluent into the Halda and thus polluting the river.
The seven-member committee consists of four local councillors, one Halda researcher, and two representatives of CDA. It was asked to file the report within 10 working days.
Halda experts and local people allege that effluent flowing from Bayezid industrial area used to end up in the Karnaphuli river through Bamonshahi canal earlier. Over the years a portion of the canal, which runs along “Ananna Abashik”, was filled up by encroachers, causing the waste to pile up beside the residential area.
To protect the residential area from pollution, CDA dug up a master drain, which takes the waste into another canal east of the residential area. This canal, Kuyaish, empties into the Halda river, the only breeding place for carps in the country.
CDA Chairman Abdus Salam said some people blamed the residential area for channelling liquid waste into the Halda. “So, we formed the committee to see what went wrong and find a way to solve the issue,” he told The Daily Star.
“The committee was given 10 working days to find out how effluent ends up in the Halda River. We will take our steps but the authorities concerned must stop the pollution at the source,” he said.
Jashim Shah, a board member of CDA, and member of the committee, said he was informed about the matter informally, but did not receive any official letter yet. “We will start our work once we get the letter,” he added.
Halda researcher Manzoorul Kibria, a professor of zoology at Chittagong University, was included in the committee as expert.
CDA started developing the 3,000-acre “Ananna Abashik” area eight years ago and dug up the master drain a few months later.