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Dhaka Tribune

Remove sluice gates to save river Boral: Environmentalists

Update : 11 Oct 2013, 10:51 PM

Environmentalists on Friday demanded the removal of sluice gates and the eviction of all establishments set up illegally along Boral River, in a bid to save its fragile ecology.

They also urged the government to demarcate the river boundary as per the Cadastral Survey (CS) and include the water body in the government’s dredging programme, which is already running for the Padma and Jamuna rivers.

The calls were made at a press conference jointly organised by Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (Bapa) and National River Protection Movement at Dhaka Reporters Unity Auditorium.

Dr Abdul Matin, secretary general of Bapa, said the government should remove the existing sluice gates to ensure regular water flow and save the area’s agriculture and biodiversity.

In 1985, Bangladesh Water Development Board set up three gates at the source of the Boral in Rajshahi, while it later also set up two more further downstream at Natore. There are several more sluice gates at different sites where the river meets other water bodies, like Beels.

“Most of the sluice gates are currently outdated and have remained closed over the years, thus making the Boral River gradually die,” said Shafiullah Sarker, former president of Institute of Diploma Engineers Bangladesh (IDEB) and a river speciallist.

The 220km-long Boral River is the main branch of the Padma which originates at Charghat area of Rajshahi and passes through Chalan Beel before falling into Jamuna at Sirajganj. lt is drying up and becoming narrower due to the introduction of several unplanned embankments along its length.

Several portions of the river, which provides livelihood to around five million people, have also been encroached on by local influential groups.

The press conference was also attended by activist Syed Abul Maksud, Bapa Joint Secretaries Sharif Jamil and Iqbal Habib, and Executive Director of Nagorik Uddyog Zakir Hossain and others.  

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