Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin said steps would be taken to excavate canals, rivers, haors and other water bodies in the country to prevent floods. Increasing the water holding capacity of reservoirs will reduce the intensity of floods. Environmental protection must be given utmost importance to reduce natural disasters. Indiscriminatel cutting of trees and hills should be stopped.
The minister was speaking as a special guest at a roundtable discussion titled 'Frequent Floods in Sylhet Region: Causes, Rehabilitation and Permanent Solutions' organized by Sylhet Division Journalists Association, Dhaka at the National Press Club on Monday afternoon.
The Environment Minister said that the Hon'ble Prime Minister has directed to re-open the river channels of Surma and Kushiar. He said special measures are being taken by the government to rehabilitate the flood-affected people. The minister called upon the able-bodied people of the society to come forward with the help of helpless people in any disaster.
Sylhet Division journalist Samity, Dhaka President Azizul Parvez Presided over the meeting while Planning Minister NA Mannan was present as the chief guest at the roundtable meeting.
Whereas Expatriates' welfare and Overseas Employment minister Imran Ahmad and Deputy Minister of Water Resources AKM Enamul Haque Shamim were present as a special guest.
The former Vice-Chancellor of Stamford University M Firoz Ahmed, Chief Executive of Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association Syeda Rizwana Hassan, Professor of Geology of Dhaka University Kazi Matin Uddin Ahmed; General Secretary of Bangladesh Environment Movement Sharif Jamil; River and Delta Research Center-RDRC chairman Mohammad Ejaz and President of Bangladesh Environmental Reporter Forum Kamrul Islam Chowdhury were present as specialists in the discussion. The concept paper was presented by Ehsanul Haque Jasim, convener, roundtable organized committee.