The Buriganga River is said to be the lifeline of the capital city. It connects the country’s major city with the coastal districts of the southern region through a network of rivers. For centuries it remained the gateway to the age-old city of the South Asian nation. But, because of indiscriminate dumping of untreated industrial waste it has now turned into the most polluted river of the riverine country. The bad odour emanating from the polluted river water hits the nostrils even before reaching its bank. At least, a picture published recently on the front page of this newspaper speaks for the truth. Witnessing the release of green-coloured untreated industrial wastes into the river, it is easy to draw a conclusion that the river is nearing fast its untimely death.
In an effort to save the river water from pollution, the government already enacted a law in 1995 making it compulsory for all industrial units to use effluent treatment plants. But, the factory owners often flouted the rule doing an irreparable harm to the vital river. However, raising an alarm, this newspaper had been continuously urging the owners of riverside industries to operate their units in an environment-friendly manner. But, all efforts went into their deaf ears.Despite High Court order to shut down pipelines carrying industrial waste and sewage into the river, Dhaka Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA), the official authority entrusted to do the job, failed to achieve any tangible result due to negligence and lack of monitoring. Ignoring rules and violating court orders, industrial waste and domestic sewerage continue to flow indiscriminately into the river. The HC also rebuked the WASA chief over pollution of the river.
The influential quarters must have to understand that the Buriganga is of great economic importance to Dhaka. They should no more be allowed to continue polluting the river in flagrant violation of the HC order. The establishment must go tough against the rule flouters. The river can only be saved through stoppage of dumping of untreated industrial waste into it; otherwise Buriganga will be wiped off the country’s atlas in near future.