Tuesday, December 10, 2019 | 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

People paying high but getting low quality telecom service

A REPORT published recently by Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission said that quality of service of state-owned mobile phone operator Teletalk was the lowest in four divisions compared with that of

Save Buriganga to save Dhaka dwellers: Court can’t

THE High Court has directed the Department of Environment (DoE) and Dhaka WASA to take effective steps to stop polluting Buriganga River. On Sunday, the HC asked the DoE to

Citizenship Amendment Bill Why India Should Reject It

Aftab Alam :The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government at the centre is all set to introduce the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in the Parliament on December 9. The

Modern Slavery Universal Basic Income May Set People Free

Neil Howard :Recent years have seen a huge increase in public, political and media attention focused on "modern slavery". Widely decried as a contemporary evil that affects all societies, "modern

Justice lost if revenge takes place against injustice

CHIEF Justice of India SA Bobde in the context of the extrajudicial murder of four alleged rapists on Saturday said that justice lost its very character when it took revenge.

Rape and killing have become easy: Reason best known to police

SEVERAL hundred students of Stamford University Bangladesh continued demonstrations for the second consecutive day on Saturday at Siddheshwari and Dhanmondi in Dhaka demanding justice for the alleged murder of their

World UHC Day Quality Primary Healthcare A Must

Md Billal Hossen :Enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or

Discontents of Inequality Not Only Unacceptably High, But Also Rising

Anis Chowdhury and Jomo Kwame Sundaram :Much recent unrest, such as the 'yellow-vest' protests in France and the US 'Abolish the Super-Rich' campaign, is not against inequality per se, but

Let forests thrive to protect biodiversity

AS settlers continue clearing forest areas for fruit cultivation and fish farming, the biodiversity in Moulvibazar's Lathitila has been facing a serious threat. According to newspaper reports, the vegetation at

Make RAJUK accountable for faulty buildings

IT is really disappointing that RAJDHANI Unnayan Kartripakkha (RAJUK) has been going scot-free for decades despite recurrence of fire in skyscrapers and faulty design. RAJUK and the Ministry concerned cannot