Plastic pollution chokes Buriganga
First it was the river adjacent factories and leather tanneries to have polluted the Buriganga River by indiscriminately dumping effluent and garbage. Second was unlimited sewerage waste to have turned the water black and stinky, and now rampant dumping of plastics continue to pollute the river unimpeded. Heaps of plastic bottles is not only choking the river but have killed the marine life as well.
However, we mark gross negligence displayed by the National River Commission (NRC) otherwise a paper tiger. When national resources, such as a vital lifeline a major river is fast reaching the brink of destruction - it is time the administration wakes up to the final call.
We were shocked to note that how the administration and various agencies of the government have responded with utter disregard towards the High Court directives issued on February of last year. The court directives instructed to initiate a holistic approach to protect all rivers including Buriganga from grabbing and pollution.
Buriganga is not the only victim of pollution. The waters of Dhaleshwari and Balu have turned toxic to such degree that those who depend on them for livelihood - regularly contract various kinds of skin and gastrointestinal diseases. The once-mighty Korotoa River is now a ghost of its former self, polluted beyond belief.
The point , however, it takes up to 1,000 years for a single plastic bottle to decompose in water, not to mention the chemical factors of the plastic bottles, plastic bags, plastic cups and the cigarette butts we are dumping in our rivers - contributing to bacterial, viral and parasitic diseases. The ad hoc measures to have cleaned up Buriganga and other nearby rivers have noticeably failed, though rampant encroachment of the river has been stopped. It is high time to move ahead with an effective strategy to restore Buriganga into its original state.
We need polluters to be dealt strictly because of their blatant disregard for damaging the river and most importantly, polluters should pay up for the damage they have caused. It is essential to monitor while bringing the key points of the river under continuous cc TV coverage. As for the media, the need of the hour is to launch a countrywide campaign programme raising awareness among the general public. The river police must right away impose the provision to fine and reprimand polluters.
Finally, what we need more than anything is political goodwill and a sincere commitment to revive what remains of our mighty rivers. It is still missing.