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Construction of Ganges barrage needs to solve salinity problem in Bangladesh: Anisul

DHAKA,Dec 28, 2016 (BSS) � Water Resources Minister Barrister Anisul Islam Mahmud today said the construction of Ganges barrage is necessary for preserving fresh water to solve the acute arsenic and salinity problem in the country.

The construction of Ganges barrage is necessary for increasing fresh water supply and solving all the water related problems including salinity intrusion in the country , he said as the chief guest while inaugurating the National Water Convention 2016 at PKSF Bhaban here.

Mahmud said after signing the water treaty with India in 1996, Bangladesh is receiving water from India but 80 per cent of the water has no use as it is flowing down to the Bay of Bengal after submerging a vast area of the country for four months every year.

The storage and re-distribution of the water would bring an overall solution to salinity intrusion in the South-Eastern part of the country, irrigation problem, bio-diversity, arsenic and the acute salinity problem in the Sundarbans, he said.

Bangladesh Unnayan Parishad (BUP), Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) and NGO Forum for Public Health jointly organized the two-day convention on 'Sustainable Water Regime in Bangladesh: Availability, Management, Access'. PKSF Chairman Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad chaired the inaugural session.

PKSF Managing Director Abdul Karim gave the welcome speech while Introductory remarks were made respectively by NGO Forum for Public Health's Executive Director SMA Rashid and BUP Executive Director Dr Nilufar Banu.

The Minister said Bangladesh has ensured the water supply and sanitation for all under the United Nations (UN) sponsored Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. We are hopeful that the sustainable water management like access to water for all would also be achieved under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 under the leadership of the present government,. he said.

In this respect, he stressed upon importance on river management and said, we are thinking about restoration of all canals, haors and water-bodies across the country for optimum use of water during the dry season from September to December , said the minister.

In addition to this, he said, we must go for solid waste treatment, pollution control , rain water harvest and sewerage treatment for sustainable water management , otherwise it will create a 'very big problem' for us.'

As many as 13 working sessions on saving rivers, flood management in Bangladesh, arsenic contamination in the ground water, water management in drought prone regions, urban water challenges, climate change induced salinity in coastal areas of Bangladesh and trans-boundary water issues will take place in the two-day seminar.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)