Observing Rivers Day while saving the water bodies from pollution
THE World Rivers Day on September 27, observed globally this year on the theme of 'waterways in our communities', left a question --- what is the condition of our rivers? Historically rivers play a vital role in human settlement in this delta with livelihood, communication, agricultural production. Rivers here viewed as equivalent to life. However, the rivers across the country are facing an acute navigability crisis due to poor water flow from the upstream. With days come and go, commitments are made and breached, governments are also changed but river pollution and grabbing are not stopped. The trustees of the rivers, the government entities, are reluctant to protect the rivers from the grabbers as they maintain high volt connection with power.
Most of our industries do not have Effluent Treatment Plants (ETPs) though operation of such ETPs has been made mandatory by law. If these ETPs are properly installed and operated, industrial pollution could be contained. But who is going to stop as the state organs itself are the big polluters? Unlike every major city in the world, the storm sewer line and the domestic sewer line are all connected in Dhaka. Therefore, WASA is the major polluter of Buriganga. When the level of pollution gets very high in Buriganga and Shitalakhya, the treatment of water becomes very difficult.
We have the appropriate constitutional provisions and necessary laws for taking action against encroachers and polluters. We believe that it is possible to do so if the administration is fully committed to save our rivers. The governments of India and China for cleaning up their rivers use modern technologies such as Remote Sensing and Satellite Monitoring.
We are anxious to hold high positions of responsibility and then forget the duty and enjoy the privileges of power. Negligence of duty has engulfed all sections of the government. By whom and how we come out of the mire of negligent and corrupt government is unknown and unpredictable.