With Bangladesh struggling to protect the dying rivers, the government has undertaken a project to develop the banks of Buriganga, Turag, Balu and Shitalakkhya rivers along with setting up boundary pillars to prevent grabbing of the rivers.
As part of the project, boundary pillars of the rivers have already been set up and the walkway is visible now in the Turag river.
The rivers that have nurtured and nourished us for hundreds of years now urgently need to be nurtured back to revive healthy rivers systems, environmentalists say.
Earlier, the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) launched an operation on January 29, 2019 to rescue the shores of four rivers in Dhaka. A large amount of land was recovered that time through evicting various types of illegal structures from these four river shores.
The implementing project, which is being carried out at a cost of Tk 850 crore, is to install rivers boundary poles, to build 50 kilometer walkway, to make 14 jetties and to make riverside as tourist spot.
According to the BIWTA, in addition to setting up border pillars on the shores, about three and a half kilometers of walkways have already become visible.
Meanwhile, construction work of walkway has been completed in Dhaka Udyan section of the Turag river. This walkway has been constructed from Dhaka Udyan to Chandrima Model Town.
Talking to the locals, it is learned that the completion of the project on the banks of the rivers will further enhance the beauty of the riverside housing and help the neglected Turag become a place of interest.
Asked about the ongoing project, project director Nurul Alam said, "Boundary pillars are being set up as part of the project work. In the meantime, three and a half kilometers of walkway have been constructed. The company will be able to go through the tender process for another 24 km walkway this week.”
Nurul Alam further said, "We were able to float tender for three and a half kilometer walkway and we have made it. We have received approval from the Ministry of Planning to build another 24 km walkway. I hope to be able to float tender for the entire walkway in the next one to one and a half months. Besides, work is underway to set up border pillars.”
AKM Arif Uddin, joint director of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), said, "This is not a big project in terms of financial allocation. But it is a project desired by the people. This is a project that is highly desired by the people of Dhaka to protect the rivers, to prevent recapturing of the rivers or to create a healthy environment for the rivers and to create a naval tourism environment on the banks of the rivers. The sooner that project becomes visible, the more people's confidence will increase.”
Promising to free the rivers and complete the project work smoothly, AKM Arif Uddin said, "We promised to free the rivers at any cost and try to keep those intact. We are working with the government to involve the people of the area to save these rivers. We want to do our best to save our rivers at any cost and implement the project smoothly."