It is a matter of great concern that the once mighty Titas River flowing over Brahmanbaria has turned into a narrow canal due to ongoing illegal grabbing. People living on Titas River’s banks have indiscriminately occupied the river banks and its adjacent land by building structures in different spots. Sediment and sand have filled up the river.
We have to save our rivers and other water bodies which are extremely important for aquatic life to flourish. The very survival of fish in many rivers, including Titas, is being threatened due to the grabbing of wetlands by a section of local influential people with political clout.
Now is the time to take immediate action to rescue and protect our rivers and water bodies. Unplanned urbanisation has taken a severe toll on the rivers which is tragic, to say the least. River pollution is another menace that is wreaking havoc. Industrial waste, household garbage and toxic chemicals are being released directly into these rivers. Many rivers have already dried up due to negligence both on the part of the government and the people.
The authorities should ensure that the rivers are regularly dredged, and that encroachment of rivers is put to a halt. The existing laws must be enforced to prevent the destruction of our waterways.
SM Imranul Islam Rajon
Senior Officer, Janata Bank Ltd, Local Office, Dhaka