Task force blames weak waste managementStaff Correspondent
The shipping minister, Shajahan Khan, on Tuesday blamed the ‘weak waste management’ of the city corporations for pollutions of the rivers that surround the capital city.
He said that authorities including the district administration had taken steps to save the rivers — the Buriganga, the Sitalakkhya, the Balu and the Turag — from being polluted and grabbed.
‘We could not yet stop the Dhaka city corporations from polluting the rivers. Despite efforts, municipal and industrial wastes are being dumped into the rivers, seriously polluting the water,’ Shajahan told reporters at the secretariat after presiding over the 17th meeting of the task force to ensure navigability and natural flow of the four rivers around the capital and others across the country.
The land minister, Rezaul Karim Hira, lawmakers, deputy commissioners of the districts concerned and civil society actors, among others, attended the meeting at the shipping ministry. But no representatives from the Dhaka City Corporation, which has now been divided into two entities, attended, according to officials.
The task force head said they had taken measures to evict illegal occupants from river banks and complete the ongoing demarcation of the four rivers around the capital city to restore the original territory to the rivers.
He said that influential people, including industrialists and local leaders, were involved in encroachment on rivers and they sometimes tried to obstruct eviction drives.
‘We have set up a committee led by a local lawmaker in each of the districts of Dhaka, Gazipur, Narayanganj and Munshiganj to look into whether the demarcation pillars are being set up properly,’ the minister said.
The seven-member committee that includes deputy commissioner of the district concerned and public works department executive engineer as member has been asked to report within June 2012.
The task force ordered the Water Development Board and the district administration for take immediate steps to clear the embankment on the River Buriganga from Sadarghat to Gabtali.
Shajahan said that another committee would be set up under the chairman of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority to look after the drives against pollution of the four rivers around the capital. ‘The waste management of the city corporations is very weak and this is why we could not effectively check the pollution,’ he added.
Tonnes of wastes continue to be dumped into the Buriganga despite a High Court order to stop wastes being dumped into the river or on its banks and to have the banks of the river cleaned up by a special team.
The High Court in June 2011 directed the then Dhaka City Corporation to take steps immediately in this regard.
A huge amount of waste is dumped into the river every day along the bank between Kamrangir Char Bridge and the second Buriganga Bridge.
Domestic wastes are dumped into Mina Bazar Canal near Bhanga Masjid, opposite Mitali Tannery at Hazaribagh, near Companyghat Canal at Dholaipar and many other places, from where the wastes get carried into the river through the canals or sewers.
Wastes are also dumped into the river near the Nababganj sluice gate, Shaheed Nagar Balughat and the Alirghat Pirjihujur Footbridge.
The shipping minister said that city corporation officials were, however, asked to take effective steps to stop the dumping of wastes into the rivers at any cost and help keep the rivers pollution-free.
comments powered by Disqus