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Political will to save rivers vital, say experts

Published : Saturday, 12 January, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 526
Banani Mallick

River is like a vein of a human life but they are gradually dying in our country because of manmade hazards, experts said.
There are lots of instances of rivers that died leading to destruction of humans, said river experts.
Fact says Emperor Akbar left Fatehpur Sikri near Agra in fifteenth century due to serious water shortage that occurred because of lack of ground water supply connected to Jamuna river, said, Ainun Nishat, eminent water specialist.
 "We cannot realize the consequences of death of a rivers. Such incidents gradually dig graves for us," he said while talking to the Daily Observer.
Nishat, also an environmentalist, noted that rivers are facing two major problems, one is pollution and the other is encroachment.
At present all the rivers including Surma, Kushiara, Khowai, Monu, Sutang, Sonai, Piain, Sari, Dholai, Jadukata, Chalti and Rangpani across the country more or less are facing pollution and grabbing.
"Now all the once mighty rivers have turned into small streams due to encroachment, illegal sand and stone extraction," he said. Above all there is fall in flow from upstream.
Asked what steps could be taken to save the rivers he said at first rivers should be protected from encroachment and pollution.
Referring to the promises of different political parties elected in the eleventh national parliament election, he noted that now the newly elected lawmakers must keep their pledges to implement river related issues.
Many river rights activists, who are directly working to save the rivers, complain that the major political parties have ignored the environment issues including river pollution.
Dr Abdul Matin, General Secretary of Bangladesh Paribesh Andolan (BAPA), said except for left-leaning parties other major political parties did not prioritize saving the rivers either in their political manifesto or in political speech.
Many river activists said their efforts to save the rivers become meaningless due to political influences.
"When we take significant measures to save the rivers we cannot do that due to political influential persons."
Abu Nasir Khan, President of Paribesh Banchao Andolan mentioned that right now all the rivers all over the country are threatened due to pollution from different industrial wastes.
"The river encroacher must be punished and the existing river safety laws should be implemented. If the government can ensure these two things then we can save our rivers," he said.
He also urged the new cabinet members to implement their commitment particularly in their political manifesto.
However, talking to the Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Forest Abdullah Al Mohsin said the government had taken 100 years maga delta project and under this project different steps would be taken to save the rivers.

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