Must bringing Buriganga back to its former self
The news of Dhaka South City Corporation- DSCC’s move for restoring the main Burignaga channel from encroachers has filled us with fresh hope.
According to a report citing the DSCC Mayor recently back-paged in this daily, the work on evictions and removal of wastes from the river Buriganga has already kicked off to recover the seven kilometers of the river’s main channel.
We believe if the mayor’s assurances of restoring the channel through dredging, beautification work, construction of walkways and bi-cycle lane by the river bank and eviction of illegal high-rise establishments ashore are translated into action, a landmark success will be achieved.
The river with its present state is an environmental disaster. Just imagine, through the Buriganga silvery clean water is flowing like the Thames in London or the Seine in Paris where toxic wastes of industries are not being dumped, and there is plenty of fish and other aquatic animals. It would be a real blessing: a Buriganga with natural water will nourish and sustain life of the city dwellers, not just the aquatic lives.
Though bringing Buriganga back to its former self is a long felt issue, effective reformations in this regard have remained long overdue due to various obstacles. On various events we have noticed how earlier steps of re-excavation of the river went bust only showing how money and muscle speak louder than law.
To make Dhaka a livable city, there is in fact, no alternative to ensuring the navigability of the main channel of the river Buriganga.
But the unplanned urbanization of the city coupled with land grabbers’ illegal encroachment spree on the banks of the river in utter violation of the order of the High Court that termed country’s rivers as living entities to set up truck stand, shops and motor workshops is taking serious environmental toll on the historic waterway.
Moreover, one of the major challenges the river is continuously facing is tannery industry developed around it. Though several government steps have been taken to revive the tolerant condition of the river through relocating the Hazaribagh tannery industry to Savar area, and establishing Effluent Treatment Plant- ETP, none of these projects have been fully implemented yet.
We believe, the improvement of livability of the capital that has been repeatedly hitting the headlines for its worst air condition, is to a large extent linked to the revival of Buriganga.
We expect the DSCC move to restore the Buriganga to become meaningful. All the authorities concerned including National River Conservation Commission -NRCC should extend all-out cooperation to DSCC for a long lasting solution of the river.