‘I will be vocal against river grabbers’- Shipping Minister
Dhaka: State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury said, the task force is working in the interest of the country and the people of Dhaka, not any individual or group. We will ensure the flow of the rivers and will be vocal against the grabbers of the rivers and canals.
He added, ‘Dhaka is not just a city, Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh. Some individuals and groups have turned Dhaka into a wasteland for their own interests. We are working to protect Dhaka under the direction of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Under the leadership of the Prime Minister, great progress has been made in the country. We are working to make it permanent.
The state minister was addressing a meeting of the task force on maintaining the navigability of the river and maintaining the flow of the river in the conference room of the ministry on Sunday (September 6) afternoon.
The state minister said the Awami League government had worked with environmentalists in 1999 to protect rivers and the environment. But in 2001, the Khaleda-Nizami government did nothing to protect the river and the environment. While the Awami League president has worked to protect the tourist district of Cox's Bazaar, the BNP government has ruined the beautiful tourist district of Cox's Bazaar with plots.
Dhaka South City Mayor Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh said, work is being done to restore the old Buriganga Channel. The restoration of the old Buriganga channel will increase the flow of water in the Buriganga and remove water logging.
The mayor said Kamrangirchar is an island. He hoped that the waste management would change in the next few days.
The meeting was informed that the Department of Environment has imposed a fine of Taka 184 crore from July 2013 to June 2020 for water pollution by raiding industrial factories. So far, compensation of Taka 69 crore has been collected. The central refinery set up in the leather industry area of Savar had some problems. Now there are no technical or other problems. The central effluent treatment plant (ETP) is working 100 percent. Good water is being discharged from there. The river water is not being polluted. Illegal sand lifting is eroding river banks in many districts. The meeting emphasized on taking effective measures to stop illegal sand extraction to prevent river erosion.
Among others the meeting was attended by State Minister for Industries Kamal Ahmed Majumder MP, State Minister for Water Resources Zahid Farooq MP, Chairman of the National River Protection Commission Dr. Mujibur Rahman Hawladar, Water Resources Secretary Kabir bin Anwar, Information Secretary Kamrun Nahar.
Secretary of the Ministry of Shipping Mohammad Mezbah Uddin Chowdhury and senior officials of the concerned ministry were present.