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PM for saving rivers to protect country

Staff Reporter:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the rivers will have to be saved to protect the country.
“We have to save our rivers if we want to save Bangladesh,” she said.
The Premier was speaking at a meeting on the presentation of the survey report and the policy decision for adoption of related project in light of the master plan designed to prevent pollution and protect the navigability of the rivers around Dhaka at the cabinet room of PMO.
Sheikh Hasina said after assuming power, the aim of her government was to protect the rivers, maintain its navigability and save those from pollution.
She recalled that during the first tenure of her government, river dredging started and the silts was used for land reclamation.
“We have to do dredging and maintain navigability. We have to go for river dredging to stop erosion,” she added.
In the name of river training, once it was normal phenomena to build embankments that had heavy toll on the fertile crop lands, the Head of the Government said.
She said that the industries that are constructed beside the rivers usually dump its wastes in the rivers.
“All waste of the sewerage lines also goes to the rivers resulting in increasing pollution,” she said.
The Premier said it is very much painful that bad smell comes from the Buriganga River due to pollu-tion.
“Whatever we do, we have to keep in mind first the waste management,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina also opted to set up small treatment plants in different parts of Dhaka city to save the riv-ers around the capital.
For river training, she said the depth of a river has to be considered. “And we must have to create a buffer zone beside the river aiming to preserve the rainwater during monsoon,” she added.
The Head of the Government also put emphasis on coordinated efforts of all concerned authorities for any development plan keeping in mind the preservation of the environment.
“Since, I came to power, I asked everyone to sketch plan for all cities. Whatever plan we take there should be wastage management and flow of water has to be maintained properly,” she said.
She added it is very regrettable that the country’s development programmes did not take place in a planned way in the past.
“It didn’t happen in the Pakistan period and even, after 1975, the illegal state power grabbers, who came through violating the constitution with arms, did not pay attention to overall coordinated and planned development of the country”, she continued.
As a result, the environmental issues were neglected and the rivers were also encroached, the Premier said.

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