Tuesday, July 14, 2020 | ePaper

River grabbing causing both ecological and economic harm

  • Print
WHAT was once considered encroachment of rivers has become outright plunder of our riverine resources. But the seriousness of the crime has done little to deter a carnival of corruption plaguing river management. Despite an intervention by the High Court, the scenario has hardly changed.
In response to a public interest litigation over the slow death of the river Turag due to massive earth filling, an HC Bench in early February this year ruled the waterbody be given the status of a living entity, making it a "legal entity". It was part of a 17-point directive by the court, which chalked out clear guidelines for saving the country's rivers and wetlands from grabbing and pollution. The directives paved the way for treating grabbing and polluting rivers as criminal offences and amending laws to empower the National River Conservation Commission as the legal guardian of all rivers. It also asked that all river grabbers be declared ineligible to contest elections and get bank loans.
But the narrow interests of the local administrative elite have wreaked havoc on our economy. The HC directed the government to dredge the river sources to get water from the Jamuna into the Dhaleswari, from Dhaleswari to Buriganga, and from the Old Brahmaputra to the Bangshi River and bring back navigability in the four rivers.  But the four rivers have been left in a deplorable state while  the government has undertaken multiple million-dollar water projects using foreign loans to fetch water for the capital from far away Meghna and Jamuna Rivers that too have got mired in alleged corruption and snail-like progress.
So just one instance of corruption has left us with a multi-million dollar bill--if the HC directives had been followed accordingly we would have got navigability of the four rivers and got drinking water. Now if we multiply the economic loss to the nation due to all the lost directives we will end up with a bill in the billions -- money spent needlessly due to the corrupt activities of a few members of the local administrative and political big shots who seek only to use their public offices for personal gains. The ultimate sufferer is the entire nation because of the ecological and economic harm which it is doing to us.


More News For this Category

UNO sets example of pro-people public office

HAKIMPUR Upazila of Dinajpur district has set an example of low Covid-19 cases by enforcing  the mandatory face mask use and by encouraging people to maintain social distancing. From March

Five recommendations to attract investment, but who will act on them

BANGLADESH needs to make progress in five key areas in the coming days to attract both domestic and overseas investments, as per a report of a local daily on the

Hill Tracts Is A Land Of Conflict Forever?

After more than two decades of instability and deadly conflict, with an aim of bringing overall peace, coexistence of all communities and prosperity in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, on December

Expatriates In The Crisis of Corona Pandemic

Corona virus has had a negative impact on every aspect of the world. In its continuation, the immigrant Bangladeshis have fallen into a great crisis. More than 14 lakh immigrants

Tuition fees should be tolerable for guardians: Govt funding necessary

TENSION is growing between parents and guardians of students and educational institutions over the payment of tuition fees. Guardians have started street agitations demanding a 50 per cent waiver for

Readers’ Forum

Violence Against Women: Where Is The End?Violence against women is increasing alarmingly day by day. We are constantly reading in the newspaper about murders, disappearances, rapes, gang-rapes, murders after rape

World As Expected After Covid-19

Covid-19 is fighting a different kind of war. The future of this war is unknown and uncertain. The whole world is terrified of this war. Although we have learned something

E-waste Emerging Threat To Environment

Afsana Rezoana Sultana :Present days are getting easier with the blessings of technology. Various electrical products have become an essential means of exchanging information and entertainment. The need for these

Killing of Bangladeshis in border areas has increased

KILLING the Bangladeshi citizens in border has increased over the last six months for aggressive actions by The Indian  Border Security Force (BSF). Twenty five Bangladeshis were killed though no

When the ones highest in government don't regard law, don't blame DCs

A NATIONAL daily on Saturday reported that the Deputy Commissioners of nearly half of the country's 64 districts continue disregarding the government's directive to upload information on allocation and disbursement