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Dhaka Tribune

State Minister: No sand quarry allowed anywhere without hydrographic survey

  • Says government has 150 dredger machines
  • Dredging not being done due to manpower shortage
Update : 26 May 2024, 10:49 PM

State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury has said no sand quarry can be allowed anywhere without a hydrographic survey.

“The government will do 40% of dredging under its management. The remaining 60% is given under private management through tender as per rules. At present the government has 150 dredger machines. However, dredging work is not being completed due to manpower shortage,” he said as the chief guest on the concluding day of the two-day National River Conference on Sunday.

Association for Land Reform and Development (ALRD), Bangladesh Environmental Law Society (BELA), Pani Adhikar Forum, Riverine People and Bangladesh River Travelers Network jointly organized the conference on Saturday and Sunday.

The state minister said: “Industries will be built on the banks of the river, there will be big infrastructure. But those infrastructures should be done by protecting the rivers, not by destroying them.”

Alleging that the Bangladesh Water Development Board, LGED and politically influential persons are largely responsible for the destruction of the rivers, hundreds of activists who came to the conference from eight divisions of the country strongly demanded the enactment of a river conservation law to protect the country's rivers.

Highlighting a two-year (2024-26) roadmap of activists involved in river protection, BELA Chief Executive Advocate Syeda Rizwana Hasan said: "We have reduced the economic importance of the river to almost zero. A full list of polluters responsible for this should be made public.”

Shamsul Huda, executive director of ALRD, said all the encroachment and pollution of the river are connected with businessmen and politically influential persons.

“We must pay closer attention to rivers. We therefore require the official proclamation of a River Week,” he said.

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