Saving environment for sustainable development

Hiren Pandit: Most of the rivers of the country including Dhaka are now disappearing due to pollution. Especially around Dhaka, the aggressive hand of the occupiers is going on everywhere in Shitalakshya, Turag and Buriganga. The biggest news is that government institutions are ahead in the competition for possession.

Of the 67 major pollutants in the Buriganga, 56 are under Dhaka WASA and BSCIC, a few city corporations, are not far behind the private industries in terms of pollution of Turag, Balu and Shitalakshya. Not only in Dhaka, but all over the country, the river is tired and ruined today due to belligerent aggression. The amount of occupation becomes clear when you look at the banks of any river.

The situation has reached such a state that the existence of many rivers is now under threat. Many rivers can no longer be found in reality. Of the 405 rivers in the country, 165 are on the verge of extinction in the last four decades due to encroachment and pollution.

The remaining 230 are also at risk. Some 24,000 kilometers of waterways have been reduced to about 6,000 kilometers. Agriculture, communications, the environment, biodiversity, and human livelihoods are all under threat. Many people feel that there is a lack of determination and goodwill on the part of those concerned about the occupiers and polluters.

At various times the government has been conducting evictions of illegal establishments, but it has stopped again before some of them have gone away.

Rivers must be protected by putting the national interest above the interests of all kinds of individuals and groups. There are policies and laws to protect the river. These policies and laws must be implemented. As well as water management needs to be done properly.

The environment is being polluted due to our unconsciousness. The living space is decreased. So each of us must strive to fulfill our responsibilities. Everyone must come forward from their respective positions to protect the environment.

If everyone is not aware, there will not be much success in law enforcement alone. The existence of a beautiful world cannot be imagined without considering the environment. The relationship between environment and development is not contradictory.

The industrial waste of these industries is falling directly into the river Buriganga. From Buriganga this industrial waste is going to Turag, Tongi canal, Balu, Shitalakshya and Dhaleshwari. Apart from this, Buriganga is also the destination of household waste in the capital. These wastes are coming into the river without any treatment. From there it spreads to other rivers in the vicinity.

Experts have mentioned that in the last 40 years, the uninterrupted rivers in Dhaka, Chattogram and surrounding areas have been subjected to extreme levels of pollution. Pollution has reached different levels in almost all the rivers of the country, especially in the big rivers.

Heavy metals from the industrial waste mix with water to create serious pollution at the bottom of the river.

To prevent river pollution surveillance should be increased first. The reasons why river water is being polluted should be stopped by monitoring from the source and discharging the polluted liquid into the river.

For this, it is important to enforce the existing laws. To restore river life, waste disposal systems must be ensured to maintain the chemical and biodiversity value of rivers. Everyone must come forward to protect the river. It is not possible to save the rivers by punishment alone or by the government alone.

For this, the common people have to be made aware. They have to explain the usefulness of the river. Besides, the concerned authorities have to ensure that those involved in pollution get proper punishment.

If the river does not survive, it will be difficult to save Bangladesh, that is, the public life of Bangladesh will be disrupted. Our rivers are connected with our life, livelihood, culture, art and literature.

To maintain the existence of riverine Bangladesh, there is no alternative but to protect the river and maintain its navigability of the river. Sustainable development also requires the protection of rivers and proper use of water. The river is the lifeblood of Bangladesh.

The development process that can be accelerated by preserving a safe environment for future generations is considered sustainable development. The government is taking special steps for this. The government of Bangladesh is firmly committed to the implementation of Vision 2041.

Sustainable development requires maintaining social and environmental balance with economic development. According to the study, 6 billion tonnes of natural resources were used in 2009. By 2050, 140 billion tons will be used, which will upset the balance of the world.

Humans have lost 20 percent of cultivable land, 30 percent of forest land and 10 percent of grazing land. Due to housing and industrialization in Bangladesh, agricultural land is declining by 1 percent every year. Biodiversity is becoming extinct.

Due to the adverse effects of climate change, rivers change their course frequently. As a result, charitable land has become a common sight in Bangladesh and cultivable land is declining. There are about 109 char Upazilas in 32 districts of Bangladesh. About seven hundred rivers, big and small, have flowed through this small country. People’s occupations, livelihoods and literary culture are all directly or indirectly dependent on the river. In our country, river water is used in the land cultivated near the river. The produce is taken to the city by the river.
Hiren Pandit is a columnist and researcher

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