Unplanned projects like rubber dams and sluice gates constructed on the upstream of Halda river, the lone source of natural carp breeding in South Asia, have been hampering the breeding of fish species, said speakers at a seminar yesterday.
Titled “Course of action to save Halda river”, the seminar was organised by Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (Bela) and Association for Land Reform and Development (ALRD) at Brac Learning Center in the port city.
The speakers said manmade hazards, withdrawal of water from upstream and release of industrial and sewage waste are key reasons behind the river's deteriorating condition.
Syeda Rizwana Hasan, chief executive of Bela, said, “Harmful and unnecessary projects have been implemented without discussing with people, whose lives depend on Halda.”
A total of 15-20 kilometres of the river remain dry from December to March for the rubber dam at Bhujpur, and mother fish cannot move from other branches of the river for 14 sluice gates, said Monzoorul Kibria.
The associate professor of Chittagong University said due to those structures on the river's upstream, its ecosystem is being affected. He also said water extraction should be restricted before measuring the river's water volume.
Shamsul Huda, executive director of ALRD, chaired the seminar.