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Dhaka Tribune

Public hearing to protect Banshi, Turag river on World Water Day

  • Adverse impact on fishermen
  • Fresh water shortage increased
Update : 23 Mar 2024, 07:55 PM

Due to unplanned industrialization and urbanization, encroachment, and filling, the capital's Banshi and Turag rivers have shrunk.

As a result, there is an adverse impact on the livelihood, food system and environment of the fishermen who depend on this river. Fresh water shortage has increased.

Such an observation was made at a public hearing on the occasion of the World Water Day on Friday at Mazhir Dia village on the banks of Banshi river.

The public hearing was organized by Change Initiative, River Delta Research Centre, Centre for Atmospheric Pollution Studies and We Mean Green.

About a hundred Majhi family members of Majhir Dia village of Kaundia Union attended the public hearing for the protection of the river.

They said Banshi river water cannot be used for daily activities due to pollution. The situation will become more critical in the future.

To ensure balanced distribution of water, experts opined that rivers, canals and seas should be allowed to move at their own pace.

Fishermen said that Banshi and Turag rivers were their only source of livelihood. Due to pollution, fish are no longer available in this river.

The female members of the fisherman's family said that the water of Banshi or Turag cannot be used for any household purpose.

Even if you get into the water, the body is suffering from various types of diseases including itching and sores.

In the public hearing, the CEO of Change Initiative Zakir Hussain Khan said that Bangladesh will survive only if the rivers of Bangladesh are saved.

Rivers are being encroached, polluted, filled under the umbrella of different political parties.

Zakir Hussain Khan said that no one is being brought under the law due to encroachment and river pollution.

The chairman of the River and Delta Research Centre said that fishermen are changing their profession due to lack of fish in the river.

Banshi and Turag rivers are dying today due to industrial pollution.

Mohammad Ejaz said, about four and a half million people are in water shortage.

He said that due to the polluted river water, the pressure on the underground water is constantly increasing.

Prof Kamruzzaman Majumder said that crossing the river has become a burden due to the stench of rotten water.

He said, fish and aquatic animals cannot survive in this water. Although there is a law to prevent river pollution, the river is being destroyed due to the negligence of the Department of Environment and the failure to hold the industry accountable.

Javed Ahmed said that it is possible to develop river-centric tourism if the river is freed from pollution and encroachment.

This will increase the employment here around the tourist center. People's livelihood will improve.

Farhana Rahman, CEO of We Mean Green conducted the public hearing program organized on the occasion of World Water Day, keeping Dhaka's water, wetland and climate slogans in front.

On World Water Day 2024, the Change Initiative also released a position paper that highlights the critical intersection of climate change, water scarcity and regional cooperation.

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