Project to prevent pollution of city rivers after study

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Dhaka, Jan 27: A special project will be taken up after conducting a study to prevent pollution of the rivers Buriganga, Shitlakhya, Balu and Turag, shipping minister Shajahan Khan said on Wednesday.

“Before taking up the project, we will conduct a study on the city’s four rivers. The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) will implement the project,” he told reporters after an inter-ministerial meeting held at the secretariat with shipping minister in the chair.

Among others, LGRD minister Khandaker Mosharrof Hossain, housing and public works minister Engineer Mosharraf Hossain, water resources minister Anisul Islam Mahmud, environment and forest minister Anwar Hossain Manju, land minister Shamsur Rahman Sharif, Dhaka North City Corporation mayor Anisul Huq and Dhaka South City Corporation mayor Sayeed Khokon attended the meeting.

According to shipping minister, the industries ministry will take initiative in relocating tanneries from Hazaribagh to Savar tannery estate in stipulated period.

“If the tanneries are not shifted within stipulated period as per industries ministry’s directives—their factories will be shut down,” Shajahan Khan said referring meeting decision.

Besides, there will be no fine now against those factories who have effluent treatment plants (ETP) but not operational, the minister said, adding, “the factories will be shut down if found ETPs in operational instead of fine.”

The minister further said, those factories who are yet to set up ETPs—they will get a certain period for setting up ETPs. “If they failed to set up ETPs within stipulated period—their factories will be suspended,” he added.

The meeting also decided that mass awareness is needed to save the countries river from pollution.

“Involvement of members of parliament, mayors and councilors of the concerned areas are must to implement the programme in order to save the rivers from pollution,” shipping minister said quoting meeting decision.

Apart from the meeting decision, Shajahan Khan also commented on Transparency International Bangladesh’s (TIB) report regarding corruption perception index on Bangladesh.

Raising the question about TIB’s transparency, the minister said, “Bangladesh was number one in corruption perception index. Now it is 13. Bangladesh’s position should be much better in corruption index report. There are question about TIB’s transparency.”