Unless we can put an end to their activities, all rivers in Bangladesh could very well end up like the Buriganga
It is encouraging to see that the High Court has ordered the Department of Environment (DoE) to file cases against 30 factories in Dhaka’s Keraniganj area for polluting the waters of the Buriganga River, with the hope that this step towards saving our rivers is taken.
The Buriganga, once a mighty flowing river, ranks now as among the most polluted rivers, and it is predominantly as a result of human negligence that it has been reduced to its current tragic state. However, this does not have to be the permanent reality for the Buriganga or any of the hundreds of rivers of Bangladesh, which continue to be the lifeline for a significant chunk of our population.
For Bangladesh to reverse the fortunes of its rivers, however, the first thing that must be done is to crack down on the major polluters -- those who continue to dump waste into them with little regard for the consequences of their actions.
Thus, while the High Court order is an encouraging sign, ultimately, it will mean nothing if such polluters continue to be treated with impunity, at the expense of rivers such as the Buriganga, and the millions of people who depend on them.
Therefore, it is vital that the cases filed do not just join the backlog of cases piling up, and that there is genuine action taken against these polluters. Unless we can put an end to their activities, all rivers in Bangladesh could very well end up like the Buriganga, and we simply cannot let that happen.