Hatirjheel attracts visitors for its natural beauty

Hatirjheel Lake in the recent past has turned to one of the most attractive places in the centre of the capital which was once a place for deadly open waste disposal. A large number of visitors now crowd the lake for its natural beauty and the surrounding development. Cleaner water, of course, is now a haven for boating in the lake as well.

The authority concerned (Rajuk) has recently taken steps to decontaminate and clean the lake making it an attractive place for recreation. Officials said the action plan would be implemented under a scheme titled, "Hatirjheel Lake Water Treatment Project". The Rajdhani Unnayan Kartipokkha (RAJUK) has undertaken a Tk 49 crore project to purify the water body.

According to the action plan, high capacity compressor and diffusers will be installed at the bottom of the Lake to allow dissolving oxygen (DO) in water at tolerable level through continuous aeration and hence increase aquatic life and breed. Besides, coagulant and flocculant will be sprayed as quick sediments to clear water.

At the same time, quality of water will be improved through biological treatment and a sediment basin will be created at the Special Sewer Diversion Structure (SSDS)-1 (behind Hotel Sonargaon) to protect the lake from contamination of sludge heading to the lake from Panthapath box culvert. Visitors often complain of foul smell in the air mainly coming from the toxic garbage floating in the lake, thus discouraging visitors and pedestrians to enjoy the beauty surrounding the lake. The main aim of the project is to enhance natural beauty, preserve rain water, ease traffic congestion, and develop water and sewerage system.

A good number of visitors usually eat food from street vendors installed around the periphery of the lake, following which, they dispose of the remains (garbage) into the lake. This also contributes to polluting the water. Water and sewerage systems were also found breached at some points, leading to a large amount of sewage waste and toxic water entering the lake through Rampura sewerage plant, turning the lake water into highly contaminated waterbody.

Contacted for comments, Hatirjheel project director (Rajuk) Jamal Akhter told Bangladesh Post that there is a sewerage diversion post at Rampura which continuously works to separate waste from water. “The water is now clean and no toxic water is entering the lake,” he added. Hatirjheel has now become one of the major visiting sites for the city dwellers. Everyone wants a beautiful and charming place where they can spend some time peacefully with their near and dear ones.