Rivers were once lifeline in almost every aspect of Bangladeshi life. Many of them are dying because of pollution and land-grabbing, apart from withdrawal of waters in the upstream. A number of rivers have already lost their existence while some others are facing existential crisis. Every day a large quantity of household, industrial and chemical waste, oil sewage from various vessels, polybags and plastic materials find their way into our rivers, reducing the depth of the rivers. Extraction and lifting of sand from river banks have become quite common. According to experts, sand mining from riverbeds can have dangerous consequences. Unplanned and excessive sand mining are causing the degradation of rivers across the country.
We have to save our rivers if we want to save our life and livelihoods. Now is the time to take immediate action to protect our rivers. All the factories, set up on the river banks, must be sincere in fulfilling effluent treatment plants (ETPs) to treat their waste before disposal. Authorities should ensure that the rivers are regularly dredged, and encroachment of rivers comes to an end. The existing laws to protect our rivers must be enforced.
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