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ADB: Strict supervision required to protect Meghna river

  • Published at 02:30 pm August 21st, 2019
Meghna River
File Photo of Meghna River Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

Enforcement by government necessary to avoid pollution

Asian Development Bank (ADB) has said strong monitoring and enforcement by government is necessary in order to avoid pollution and maintain quality of water supply in Meghna river.

A report by the ADB explores potential of Meghna as an alternative water source for Dhaka. 

It also describes the fragile state of Dhaka’s current drinking water supply, due to increasing demand and surface contamination.

The authors assess the threats facing Meghna river, and identify protection measures needed to ensure that it can provide a sustainable and safe supply of drinking water.

These measures include designating ecological critical areas, promoting cleaner industrial production, monitoring pollution, controlling wastewater discharges and pesticide use, and empowering local stewardship of the river.

The report recommended equipping newly-declared economic zones in the Meghna river area with state-of-the-art production methods and adequate treatment facilities or central effluent treatment plants (ETP).

It suggested bringing small and medium-sized industries lacking ETP, or those operating poorly, under compliance.

“Cleaner production is recommended to reduce discharge load and maximize profit,” it said.

The report also said solid waste and wastewater from municipalities should not be directly discharged into the river.

“The DOE should take appropriate action in applying its regulatory instruments, and require all new development proposals along Meghna river, to include the assessment of the cumulative impacts on water quality,” the report said.

The ADB advised the government to continue the river water quality monitoring program conducted under the TA and install a continuous monitoring system with an early warning facility at both intake points.

The report said: “Together, these measures executed in earnest should help in protecting the water quality of the Meghna river for Dhaka’s sustainable water supply.”

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