Polythene choking drains, water bodies for lack of monitoring | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 12, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 12, 2011

Polythene choking drains, water bodies for lack of monitoring

Widespread use of polythene and plastic bags has become a matter of concern in Dinajpur town and other areas of the district as it is disrupting the drainage system and choking the water bodies.
The use of polythene has almost doubled in the month of Ramadan as the quantity and number of sold items went up from first day of the holy month and will rise further till Eid festival, said local traders.
Almost all the materials including food items are packed in polythene the bulk of which find its way into the waters.
Although there is law prohibiting the use of this product, scattered polythene bags are seen everywhere on the roads and in areas near the canals as people have continued use of the harmful item freely in absence of monitoring by the law enforcers.
Even in rural areas, polythene and plastic bags often disrupt irrigation by choking the points from where water enters the fields, said Rafiqul Islam, a farmer of Shatnala village in Chirirbandar upazila of Dinajpur.
There are many alternatives to polythene bags but shopkeepers often give the sold items in polythene bags as customers prefer it, said Abul Kalam Azad, a senior citizen of Dinajpur.
During the rainy season, the problem worsens as polythene and plastic products spoil the drainage system, much to the sufferings to people.
But no let in the use of the items are in sight due to absence of effective measures by the law enforcers and the municipality authorities.
"About two years ago, the municipality authorities took steps to check use of polythene and collect used polythene but the drive stopped shortly afterwards," said Md Abdul Kashem, a resident of Balubari area of the district town.
When contacted, Dinajpur Mayor Jahangir Alam said, "I will launch a joint drive in the municipality area soon to control the polythene menace."
"A mobile court is operating in the district to check the use of polythene. Additional measures will be taken during the Ramadan," said Md Jamal Uddin Ahmed, deputy commissioner of Dinajpur.

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