Govt to take actions against river encroachers: Shajahan

DHAKA, Dec 29, 2016 (BSS) - Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan today said the government will take actions against the encroachers and polluters of rivers in the same way it has resisted militancy and terrorism.

"The government has formed a strong committee to stop encroachment and pollution of rivers. The navy will extend cooperation to free from encroachment and pollution the Karnafuli and rivers around Dhaka," he said speaking as chief guest at the inaugural session of a daylong seminar in the city.

National River Protection Commission organized the seminar at CIRDAP auditorium with a view to creating awareness against occupation and pollution of rivers, said an official release.

Presided over by National River Protection Commission Chairman M Ataharul Islam, the seminar was also addressed by Water Resources Ministry Senior Secretary Dr. Zafar Ahmed Khan, Shipping Ministry Secretary Ashok Madhob Roy and National River Protection Commission Member M. Alauddin.

The minister said the government had formed a taskforce in 2010 to maintain navigability in rivers by resisting encroachment and pollution.

Boundary pillars have been installed through the taskforce and it has also played an effective role for shifting the tannery from Hazaribagh to Savar, he added.

Referring to the need of dredgers to excavate rivers, Shajahan Khan said no government after 1975 had procured dredgers, but the Awami League government already procured 13 dredgers.

Processing underway to procure 20 more dredgers, he said and added that three excavators have been purchased to lift wastes from riverbeds.

The minister said the government has undertaken projects to revive lost river routes by dredging 53 rivers in the country.

Three keynote papers were presented in the seminar by BRAC University Professor Emeritus Dr. Ainun Nishat, National River Protection Commission Member Dr. Mominul Huq Sarkar and Centre for Environmental and Geographic Information Services Deputy Executive Director Malik Fida Abdullah Khan.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)