Buriganga ranked 6th among 10 polluted rivers in the world
Golam Mostafa Jibon: The river Buriganga is yet to get rid from massive pollution even after removal of much discussed tannery industries to Savar from its bank posing threat to the local environment and public health.
Earlier, tannery wastes were main reasons behind the pollution of Buriganga. But now, the river is being polluted by the chemical wastes of industries and households putting the capital city Dhaka at a stake.
Meanwhile, the name of Buriganga has got space at the list of polluted rivers in the world. It has ranked six among 10 polluted rivers globally. Not only that, three more rivers-Balu, Shitalakshma and Dholeshwori located beside the city are facing same crisis due to the immense pollution and grabbing.
Experts said, if initiatives are not taken right now to save the rivers, the environment may face more destruction in future as rivers play vital role to protect our nature and biodiversity.
Earlier, tannery wastes were dumped into the river. Though, the tanneries have gone to Savar from the bank of Buriganga, over 88 percent industrial wastes are now being thrown into the river without any restriction. Besides, the wastes from WASA and both the city corporations have been added with the water of the river making it malodorous and unhealthy. Locals cannot live on the banks of river and fishermen do not feel comfortable to get down in the river for the bad smell of the water.
In 2009, a Dhaka court in its verdict mentioned that, Dhaka city will face a disaster, if the river Buriganga is not saved. Though, the city is moving to development day by day, wastes from industries and households located beside the river are affecting the river drastically.
A recent survey of Environment Department says that, at least 4,500 tons wastes and 57 lakh gallon contaminated and chemical mixed water from different industries and households are being attached with the water of Buriganga every day. Most of the industries located in Ashulia, Tongi and Savar do not use treatment plant. The contaminated water damages fisheries and other water born animals.
Fisheries Department and fisheries development affairs organization “World Fish” recently collected water from 11 points of five rivers-Buriganga, Turag, Balu, Dholeshwari and Shitalakshma for lab test. Environmental Science Department of Stamford University also gathers samples of water from 19 points in the same rivers for test. After the tests, the organizations came to know that, the water of the five rivers has reached in a stage, where living of fishes is very difficult.
Prof. Kamruzzaman, Chairman of the Environment Science of Stamford University told Daily Industry that, the water of the rivers has become unfit for use due to pollution by various types of wastes. Besides, unplanned brick clines and fuel oils of different engine run boats are continuously polluting the water of the river.
The survey further says that, Buriganga is turning into narrow due to two reasons. One of the reasons is pollution and another is grabbing, which hampers smooth flow of the water.
Locals urged the authorities concerned to take immediate steps to save the rivers for the sake of capital.