Tuesday, 25 January, 2022

Turning Buriganga into a living river

Turning Buriganga into a living river

The Buriganga was once termed as the lifeline of the capital. It was an indispensable part of everyday life for the city residents. They largely depended on water from the river for various purposes, including drinking and fishing. Regrettably, the river is now one of the country's most polluted rivers. Its water has become extremely polluted due to release of toxic effluent from around 42 dyeing factories located along the river banks.

High levels of concentrated dyes, chemicals, and heavy metals are being flown into the river through the hidden pipelines connected to these factories. Although the government has made it mandatory to install effluent treatment plants (ETP) in factories to bring environmental pollution under control, the owners of Shyampur dyeing factories don't care at all. The river has now become a source of misery for people living in the neighbourhoods.

However, as part of an awareness campaign to save the river, a festival titled 'Buriganga River Fest-2021' was organised in the city yesterday. Thanks to Waterkeepers Bangladesh Consortium and Buriganga River Alliance River for jointly organising the fest. Marking the occasion, a variety of events like cycle rally, dinghy boat race, and a drawing competition for children were held where a large number of youths took part. We believe that the festival would go a long way in bringing the burning issue into mainstream policy-making discussions and creating a ripple, influencing the relevant authorities to protect the vital river from pollution and polluters.

Dhaka residents are eagerly waiting for the day when they would again be able to go for a spectacular cruise on the Buriganga. In this regard, a shining example of the Singapore River is worth mentioning. Not many days ago the river was like that of the Old Ganges. But they cleaned it up and now turned it into a great resource. We are also hopeful that our Buriganga will once again be turned into a living river if we emulate the example of Singaporeans.