Pollution of major rivers around the capital Dhaka are posing threats to all living organisms, including human and plant, in the city.
These rivers, which perform the task of natural drainage for the city, are being polluted as rain water sweeps into them all the wastes dumped here and there of the city.
Polluted water of the rivers Buriganga, Turag, Dhaleshwari, Balu and Shitalakshya flowing around the greater Dhaka city is posing a serious threat to public life as it is unfit for human use, a study of Institute for Environment and Development Studies (IEDS) said.
People living near the rivers, including slam dwellers, having no other alternative, are forced to use polluted river water. This polluted water causes spread of water-borne and skin diseases.
Environment and biodiversity of the riverbed are badly damaged due to pollution but there’s none to take proper and effective steps for the survival of the rivers, locals complained.
Most of the natural drainages in the capital disappeared due to encroachment.
Encroachment on the rivers through unauthorised construction and dumping of solid waste are making it difficult to drain out the pollutants.
Environment activist Sharif Jamil, also the joint secretary of Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA), told daily sun 60 percent pollution of rivers around capital Dhaka occurs due to industrial waste - 30 percent from government institutes and 10 percent form household.
He said urban utility depends on rivers and the capital Dhaka has grown on the northern bank of the river Buriganga.
The Buriganga has been polluted due to textile and dyeing wastes. Fourty-two dyeing industries located in the city’s at Shyampur area are seriously polluting the rivers, he said.
The rivers surrounding Dhaka are going to disappear due to illegal encroachment and continuous dumping of wastes, he said.
Rivers are important for a city while the communication between south Bengal is connected to Dhaka through the Buriganga, he said.
The environmental consequences, originating from rapid rise of population and pollution effluents from industries and other wastes, are having negative impact on rivers around the city.
The rivers surrounding Dhaka are an advantage to it and they are essential for survival of the mega city as they provide drainage system, drinking water, different kinds of fish and also waterways for travelling.
The government took initiatives to protect the rivers from encroachers several times, but all the efforts were gone astray within few days.
The encroachers again came back to their previous places soon after the drives of the government authorities.