Friday, July 19, 2019 | ePaper

River grabbing must be stopped forever

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NATIONAL River Conservation Commission has instructed District Administrations of Munshiganj and Narayanganj to send time-bound action plans for evicting grabbers from the Meghna, Sitalakhya and Dhaleswari and ensure close monitoring of their drives.
The initiative was taken to ensure transparency in conducting eviction drives on major rivers that were under illegal occupation of the government agencies and influential businesses in many areas, as per local media reports. Following visits in the Meghna and Sitalakhya, the Commission prepared reports on grabbers and polluters of the rivers, which included names of many government agencies and hundreds of private business enterprises and individuals.
Many so-called business groups are developing dockyards or creating economic zones or other commercial ventures by grabbing lands on the big rivers like the Meghna and Sitalakhya while flouting regulation rules which require that companies have to make channels. A huge portion of the Meghna River at its different points in Narayanganj and Munshiganj has been grabbed by big companies. The Commission's encroachment report on the Sitalakhya shows that the Food Department made a warehouse encroaching land of the river at Bandar, Narayanganj. BIWTC developed a dockyard on the river in the same place, it reads.
 To make things worse, power plants and factories are dumping untreated effluent into the river. In effect one of the biggest navigational pathways in our nation is slowly but surely being turned into a garbage dump and choked by anyone who has the financial clout to do so, defying all local and national rules and regulations.
Solving these matters is quite easy--all firms must be forced by National Authorities like the BIWTA to follow rules and regulations to ensure that our national treasures like the Meghna are not turned into polluted water-body with choking navigational pathways. A healthy ecological balance is essential for the nation to economically survive as the rivers provide sustenance to millions of fishermen and are also vital communication pathways for millions of people. Encroaching or polluting these will result in incalculable economic losses in the long run to the entire nation as a whole while some firms make healthy profits at the expense of many. This must end.

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