Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Buriganga still a garbage dump

Whither river cleaning drive?
Though the government has initiated a drive to clean the Buriganga river, people living on its banks opine that the drive would be futile unless the practice of dumping waste materials into the river is stopped.
The local people told The Independent yesterday  that the government should take strong steps against the people who threw garbage into the river, including setting up of ansar camps on the river bank.
Though a huge quantity of garbage of the Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) and industrial and household wastes of Keraniganj, Babubazar, Waizghat, Badamtoli, Kamrangirchar and Jinjira are being thrown into the river continuously, officials of the Bangladesh Inland Transport Authority (BIWTA) seem least bothered about that.
Abdur Rahman a resident of South Keraniganj, said that there was no dustbin for about 25 lakh people of Keraniganj to dump their garbage.
“We know it is not fair to dump garbage into the  Buriganga river. If the municipality makes any arrangement for throwing the garbage, we can dump the garbage there,” he said.
Sayedur Rahman of the Char Kaliganj oil market, told this correspondent that the government’s Buriganga cleaning drive would not be successful unless it (government) created awareness among the people.
“The government can set up ansar camps on the river banks to prevent people from throwing waste materials into the river. Strict action should be taken against such people. Participation of local people is also needed in the river cleaning drive to save the Buriganga river,” he said.
An official of BIWTA told The Independent on condition of anonymity that the local people were still dumping garbage into the river despite the ongoing cleaning programme.
“The cleaning programme will be in vain, if no initiative is taken to prevent the people from throwing garbage into the river,” he said.
A some of about Tk 40 lakh would be spent to make the common people conscious of the necessity to keep the river clean, the source said adding: “Local non-government organisations (NGO) may be entrusted with the responsibility to motivate the people against throwing garbage into the Buriganga river.”
Stacks of garbage, polythene bags, household rubbish, coconut shells and plastic materials are  seen on the river banks.
A BIWTA official said the Buriganga cleaning drive had been taken up as a pilot project.
“If the pilot project is successful, the river cleaning drive will continue,” he said.
Replying to a question he said that the Singapore government had built a special type of dredger costing Tk 60 crore each in a bid to clean their river.
“The BIWTA is not able to purchase such a costly dredger like Singapore for cleaning the river Buriganga. If we use such type of a dredger, we would need Tk 20 crore to clean one kilometre of the river,” the source said. 
Some three lakh cubic metres of garbage will be removed from a one-kilometre area of the Buriganga at a cost of Tk 5.32 crore in three months.
Four private companies-Techno SB Joint Venture, Pacific Marine Services, Farzana AET Joint Venture and M/S Akhter Hossain Talukder were engaged to clean the river. 
Shipping minister Shajahan Khan on January 6 inaugurated the sweeping operation to clean up the waste-filled Buriganga riverbed at the Sadarghat launch terminal in the capital.

Courtesy of The Independent

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