Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Research activities of BRRI at stake

Toxic industrial seepage, water-logging threaten field trials
Research activities at Bangladesh Rice Research Institute have been threatened by intrusion of industrial waste water and possible spill-over of toxicity in the soil of the institute’s immediate vicinity.
If the seepage of toxic industrial wastes continues, the institute may need to be relocated soon from the industrial belt of Gazipur to an area free from pollution for the sake of undisturbed research activities, say researchers.
A daily sun investigation finds that a major portion of the 45-hectre research field of the institute has already turned into a dumping ground of polluted water coming from outside, affecting the trial of breeder seeds.
Four drains that entered through western and south-western part of the institute and once disappeared into a canal in the institute’s northeast side under Gazipur municipality have also been blocked, researchers say assigning the reasons of water-logging on the institute premises.
“Black water containing industrial wastes is pouring in the research field through one of the drains and the research activities are being hampered,” Director (research) of the institute Md Khairul Bashar said on Tuesday.
Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, the key component of national agricultural research system, is located on 76.82 hectares of land. It has so far developed 58 varieties of rice that dominate more than 80 percent of Boro rice, official records show. The research director cautioned that unless ‘this national research institute’ is protected from any kind of pollution, the overall research output will be affected.
The institute’s researchers said the issues of intrusion of polluted water and toxicity in the soil in nearby areas like Jogitola in the south came for discussion at a recent meeting of the institute. The researchers expressed serious concern at the situation.
“We have noticed for the past 6-7 months that black water is coming in from the west and being dumped into the field. The stagnant water seeps further,” said a junior researcher, who has no authority to talk to the press.
There are three dyeing factories just outside the western wall of the institute and four more factories are located within one kilometre area, said witnesses. About a dozen industrial units are there in front (in the north) of the institute.
The institute authorities earlier drew the attention of municipality to stop the drains but the latter said they were not in a position to take any initiative unless the government sanctions money through a project.
Jiban Krishna Biswas, a chief scientific officer at the institute, pointed out that they are yet to be sure about the effects of air pollution, especially excessive presence of sulphur and heavy metal, on the rice in the trial fields.
“Farmers in the surrounding areas recently found some problems, which we think are effects of toxicity in the soil. The growing urbanisation alongside unplanned industrialisation has posed serious threats to proper research activities,” he said explaining the issue.
The rice research institute was founded in Agargaon area close to Khamarbari (meaning farmhouse) in Dhaka city in 1906. It was shifted to its present location in 1970 after running temporary activities in Savar.
Rafiqul Islam, another chief scientific officer, has collected samples of various industrial wastes and made experiments to examine their effects on rice yields. “The plants die in some cases and others do not give proper yields,” he said but could not confirm if it would cause food contamination.
Asked about the remedial measures, the research director said the government’s agriculture, environment and industries ministries should come up with joint initiative to protect the national research institute.


Courtesy of Daily Sun

Related News

Four-day tourism festival begins in Dhaka

News Desk : A four-day long festival to boost local tourism will be launched on September 27 in Dhaka to celebrate World Tourism Day 2023. The Bangladesh Tourism Board under the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism will organise the festival titled ‘Bangladesh Festival’ at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre. The festival will be ... Read more

Bangladesh Railway launches luggage vans with intercity trains

News Desk : To significantly increase the supply of perishable items, agricultural and other goods, Bangladesh Railway (BR) combined luggage vans with intercity trains on Sunday. The first van was combined with Sylhet bound intercity train “Joyantika Express”. Jayantika Express transported 4,600 kg of goods from Dhaka to Sylhet as Bangladesh Railway’s first intercity ... Read more

Bangabandhu Tunnel: Government sets toll ranging from Tk200 to Tk1,000

News Desk : The government has set toll rates for using the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel built under the Karnaphuli River in Chattogram, ranging from 200 Tk for cars to 1,000 Tk for 4-axle trailers, which is slated for inauguration in September. The Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges issued a circular in ... Read more

516 people died in road accidents in June

News Desk : At least 516 people were killed and 812 more injured in 559 road accidents in June this year, said a Road Safety Foundation report published on Wednesday. Of the accidents, involvement of motorcycles was the highest 37.03 per cent and the highest 32.75 per cent people were killed in the motorcycle ... Read more

SSC exams to be held on full syllabus in February next year

News Desk : The Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and equivalent exams for 2024 will be held in the first week of February. It will be the first time the exams return to their traditional schedule after a four-year disruption caused by the pandemic. The exams will cover all subjects as per the full syllabus ... Read more

Eid-ul-Azha: BR to sell all advance tickets online from June 14

News Desk : Bangladesh Railway will start selling advance train tickets from 14 June to tackle the home rush on the occasion of the upcoming Eid-ul-Adha. The authorities will start selling tickets from June 14 at two different time slots to reduce the load on its server. The West Zone will start selling tickets ... Read more

A lucky escape

News Desk : Mocha makes landfall in Myanmar, weakens; causes no serious damage in Bangladesh Cyclone Mocha veered towards Myanmar and eventually made landfall there a few hours earlier than forecast and it did not cause massive damage that many in Bangladesh feared. Around 13,500 houses were affected by the cyclone in Cox’s Bazar, ... Read more

Mocha starts crossing Cox’s Bazar coast, wind speed up to 215 kmph: BMD

News Desk : The very severe cyclone Mocha has started crossing Cox’s Bazar-north Myanmar coast and is likely to move north-northeasterly direction further and complete crossing Cox’s Bazar-North Myanmar coast near Sittwe of Myanmar by afternoon or evening on Sunday, according to the latest bulletin of the Bangladesh Meteorological Department on Sunday morning. The ... Read more

Mocha approaches coast with 200 kmph speed

News Desk : Cyclone Mocha is approaching the coastal areas of Bangladesh and Myanmar with a maximum wind speed of 200 kmph, said the latest weather bulletin of the Bangladesh Meteorological Department. According to the bulletin, at 6:00pm, the very severe cyclonic storm was centred about 605km south-southwest of Chattogram port, 525km south-southwest of ... Read more

Cyclone Mocha intensifies into ‘extremely severe cyclonic storm’: IMD

News Desk : Mocha has intensified into an extremely severe cyclonic storm over east central Bay of Bengal and was 760km south southwest of Cox’s Bazar at 2:30am (local time) today, according to the Indian Met Department’s last update. It is moving north-northeastwards and likely to intensify further and cross Bangladesh and Myanmar coasts ... Read more

Bangladesh coastal areas are under danger signal number 8

News Desk : Bangladesh is ready to evacuate about a million people in Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar as the very severe cyclonic storm over the east central Bay of Bengal looked ferocious with rapid intensification and is forecast to begin to have impacts on the south-east coast of the country from Saturday night. The ... Read more

Rooftop solar panels a contemporary necessity

Speakers tell webinar In December 2020, a knitting factory in Kashimpur in Gazipur had a rooftop solar panel installed for 19.89 crore Tk, saving the company 3.19 crore Tk per year, according to a study. The investment will be returned by 6.23 years, according to the study, after analyzing the electricity production data for the ... Read more

Cyclone Mocha raises storm alert in Bangladesh

News Desk : The deep depression over the southeast Bay of Bengal intensified into a cyclonic storm, confirmed Bangladesh Meteorological Department in a special weather bulletin issued at 8:30am on Thursday. The cyclone, named Mocha, moved north northwestard at about 6:00am, the BMD said. The cyclone was 1,295kms south southwest of Chattogram port, 1,220 ... Read more

Low-pressure area over Bay could intensify further: Met office

News Desk : The low-pressure area over the Bay of Bengal has now turned into a well-marked low pressure, and could intensify further, the Met office said today. A bulletin of the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) said, “The low-pressure area over the Southeast Bay and adjoining south Andaman Sea has intensified into a well-marked ... Read more

Heat wave continues after a short break

News Desk : A mild heatwave set in again on Saturday with chances of it continuing and intensifying in parts of Bangladesh over the next couple of days, according to the Met Office. The cyclonic circulation formed in the Bay of Bengal, likely to develop into a low pressure with potentials of a cyclonic ... Read more

Inequitable, low wages continue to hit workers

Moinul Haque Workers in Bangladesh suffer discriminatory wages due to the lack of a national minimum wage standard, trade union leaders and labour rights advocates said. According to them, the prevailing wage-setting system in the country is discriminatory and against the interest of workers. The May Day movement, trade union leaders said, was for an ... Read more

May Day today

Free trade unionism, workplace safety, wage hike demanded Bangladesh along with the rest of the world is set to observe May Day today (Monday) with demands for ensuring workers’ rights, including rights to workplace safety and free trade unionism. To observe the day, various labour bodies will hold rallies, bring out processions and organise discussions ... Read more

SSC, equivalent exams begin today

News Desk : The Secondary School Certificate and equivalent exams will begin today. According to the education ministry, 20,72,163 candidates are likely to take this year’s SSC and equivalent exams. The exams will be held on all subjects with full marks but on revised syllabuses. They will be held in 3,810 centres across the ... Read more

Pahela Baishakh celebrated across Bangladesh

News Desk : Bangladesh welcomed the Bengali New Year 1430 on Friday as Pahela Baishakh, the first day of the year, was celebrated in Dhaka as elsewhere across the country with festivity and enthusiasm by holding outdoor programmes amid tight security measures. Different political and socio-cultural organisations and educational institutions in the capital and ... Read more

Nation celebrates Independence Day

News Desk : The nation is celebrating 53rd Independence and National Day today in a befitting manner. The government has undertaken elaborate programmes marking Independence and National Day, reports UNB. President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid tributes to the martyrs of Liberation War — placing wreaths at the National Memorial in ... Read more