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30 March, 2020 01:32:34 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 30 March, 2020 02:41:04 PM

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Buriganga highly polluted despite several projects

BIWTA has so far spent over Tk 200 crore to clean up the capital's lifeline Buriganga
ANISUR RAHMAN KHAN, Dhaka
Buriganga highly polluted 
despite several projects

The waters of the Buriganga are highly polluted on a 23km stretch, where no aquatic life can survive, though crores of taka have been spent in the name of clean-up projects. Both the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) and the Bangladesh Water Development Board (WDB) have taken up several separate projects to free the river from pollution.

The BIWTA has so far spent over Tk 200 crore during the BNP-led and Awami League governments to clean up the capital's lifeline, the Buriganga, which lies on the western edge of the city.

Over Tk 16 crore was spent to

clean up the Buriganga in 2013 under a pilot project.

In spite of their failure, the authorities concerned have decided to set up a water treatment plant (WTP) in the mouth of WASA drains to prevent pollution under a pilot project.

Earlier, the Buriganga river restoration project, which was taken up in 2010 by the BWDB to bring fresh water from the Jamuna to inject clean water into the Buriganga, virtually failed to take off even after spending Tk 330 crore in the last 10 years for various reasons.

Untreated water and solid waste are discharged into the city's five rivers—the Buriganga, Turag, Balu, Shitlakhya and the Dhaleswari—through over 500 drains of Dhaka North and South City Corporations and Dhaka WASA, BIWTA chairman Commodore Golam Sadeq told The Independent yesterday.

“We have taken various steps to stop pollution in the city’s rivers.

Tanneries have already been shifted to the newly constructed tannery village at Savar.

The departments concerned have

been working to discourage dumping

of untreated waste and sewage

effluents into the city rivers,” the BIWTA chairman said.

He also said they have taken up a pilot project to set up WTP in the mouth of drains. If the project is successful, at least 50 such WTPs will be installed in the mouth of 50 big drains, he added.

“About Tk 13 lakh will be needed per WTP for big drains and Tk 5 lakh per WTP for small drains. There are 260 big and small drains of city corporations

and the WASA in Dhaka. We will only set up WTPs in the mouth of big drains,” Sadeq said.

The WTPs will be installed in all areas to prevent pollution of the Buriganga, Turag, Balu, Shitlakhya, and the Dhaleswari rivers, he said, adding that the BIWTA will only set up 50 WTPs in the mouth of 50 major drains.

“The city corporation and WASA authorities will set up the remaining

WTPs with their own arrangement. If the authorities concerned are unable to install these WTPs, the BIWTA will take the charge and the authorities concerned will have to bear the cost,” the BIWTA chairman said.

He also said the BIWTA has already sought funds from the government and it would take about three months to get the funds to construct WTPs.

“We have already set up two WTPs in the Sadarghat area under the pilot scheme. We will examine it for three months and if it is viable then all the drains will be brought under the project,” Sadeq said in reply to a query.

He expressed hope that quatic lives would be able to survive in the city rivers once the project is implemented.

According to sources, at least 4,000 tonnes of waste and 57 lakh gallons of untreated water are dumped into city rivers daily.


IK

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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