Our water-bodies are crucial to our sustainable development
It is unfortunate that, for a country whose rivers and water-bodies are its lifeblood, so many of ours have been filled up or encroached over the last nine years.
More than 3,000 acres, or 36%, of water-bodies across the Dhaka metropolitan area have been lost due to earth-filling already, leading to many of Dhaka’s problems, such as water-logging, and further destroying the city’s infrastructural integrity.
This has come about as a result of rampant illegal land-grabbing, and continuous and unplanned urban development -- the root cause for both can be traced to negligence on the part of government officials, whose corrupt practices have caused such mistakes to take place consistently over the last decade or so.
If such practices are allowed to continue, not only in Dhaka but across the rest of the country, all the infrastructural development that the government has brought will be for naught, and Dhaka as a city will become unsustainable for the millions of people who call it home.
In the coming years, it is imperative that government policy not only prioritizes the restoring of the water-bodies and wetlands lost, but also ensures that those who threaten their existence, such as land-grabbers and illegal developers, are punished to the fullest extent of the law.
As experts have suggested, we need to incorporate technology-based monitoring to prevent land-grabbing and punish culprits in a speedy manner, no matter what their political affiliation.
Our water-bodies are crucial to our sustainable development, and with the wheels in motion for middle-income status, we must do everything in our power to protect them from encroachment and subsequent destruction.