Tuesday, May 21, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

PM emphasizes environmental considerations in development plans

  • Stresses need for waste management 
  • Regrets lack of planned development in past
  • Expresses concern about Buriganga pollution
Update : 04 Dec 2023, 02:20 PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday urged authorities to keep the preservation of the environment in mind while undertaking any development plan.

“Since I came to power I have asked all to draw up plans for all cities. Whatever plan we undertake, there should be an emphasis on waste management and proper maintenance of the flow of water,” she said while speaking at a meeting on the presentation of the survey report and policy decision for the adoption of the related project in the light of the master plan designed to prevent pollution and protect the navigability of the rivers around Dhaka at her office.

She said it is regrettable that the country’s development programs were not taken up in a planned way in the past.

Those who grabbed power illegally on August 15, 1975 violating the constitution with arms did not pay attention to the overall coordinated and planned development of the country, she said.

“As a result environmental issues were neglected and rivers were grabbed,” she said.

She mentioned that after assuming power her government aimed to protect rivers, return their navigability and save them from pollution.

“In the name of river training it was a normal phenomenon to build embankments that heavily harmed fertile croplands,” she said.

The prime minister recalled that during its first tenure, her government started river dredging and used the silts for land reclamation.

“We have to do dredging and maintain navigability. We have to go for river dredging to stop river erosion,” she added.

She said industries constructed beside rivers usually dump their wastes in them.

“All wastes of sewerage lines are also dumped in rivers. There is no plan for waste treatment. As a result, pollution has increased,” she said.

The prime minister said it is very painful that the Buriganga River stinks due to pollution.

“Whatever we do we have to keep in mind first the waste management,” she said.

She also suggested setting up small treatment plants in different parts of Dhaka to save the rivers around it.

“We have to save our rivers if we want to save Bangladesh. We have to live with floods. We have to always keep that in mind. We need silt that comes with flood water,” she said.

For river training, the prime minister said, the depth of a river has to be considered.

“We must create a buffer zone beside the river aiming to preserve the water that comes during the rainy season,” she said.

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