The mighty river Buriganga, once the lifeline of Dhaka, is now on the verge of extinction due to unabated grabbing, rampant dumping of waste and pollution. Recently, a shoal (Char) has emerged at the bank of Buriganga which is located just next to the Sadarghat Launch Terminal.
Environmentalists have long been crying hoarse for devising intervention on the part of the government to save the river Buriganga.
There was a time when Buriganga was addressed as the lifeblood of Dhaka. But due to industrial waste pollution particularly from Hazaribagh tannery and human waste from the city, Buriganga became the most polluted river in the country.
However, in a bid to save Buriganga from severe pollution, tanneries were relocated to Savar from Hazaribagh amidst huge public outcry but the scenario of pollution has remained almost the same as the dumping of solid waste and household waste still goes on unabated.
Over the last couple of decades, encroachment and excessive amounts of pollution has caused the water of Buriganga to become unusable, and unsustainable for aquatic life. Moreover a huge amount of burnt petrol and human waste from river vessels is being spilled into the river every day. Also thousands of illegal sewerage lines are dropping sewage into the river.
The water of Buriganga is now polluted to such an extent that all fishes have died and rowing across the river is now difficult for its bad odour. What is more worrying is that Water Supply and Sewerage Authority and Dhaka South City Corporation are jointly dumping millions of tons of trash and garbage without treatment into the river Buriganga. Reportedly, over 80,000 cubic metres of untreated industrial wastes are dumped every day into the Buriganga. Millions of dollars had allegedly been misused in the past in the name of freeing the river from pollution.
The government should formulate and implement
necessary policies and develop legal and strategic
framework based on a new and
reinvigorated perception on the present
condition of Buriganga
Thames River is an inevitable example of how a dead river can be saved by implementing actions fueled by consciousness and concerted efforts of the people concerned. In 1957, The Natural History Museum declared the Thames River biologically dead. Now, Thames is one of the cleanest city rivers in the world. A concrete British consciousness and concerted efforts on the part of the London city administrators revived the river. Hence, we still can be optimistic about giving Buriganga a new life. What is needed is to rethink the sewage system of the capital and take necessary steps to compel people to become cons
cious of dumping waste in Buriganga. The first thing to do is to stop the continuous discharge of thousands of tons of industrial waste, garbage, and sewage.
A strategic, holistic and sustainable waste management practice should be reinforced both by the concerned authorities, factory owners and conscious citizens. The government should formulate and implement necessary policies and develop legal and strategic framework based on a new and reinvigorated perception on the present condition of Buriganga.