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Issue 13
, 2009
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Bangladesh river pollution threatens millions

Source: The Times of India, New Delhi, Date: , 2009

It was once the lifeline of the Bangladeshi capital. But the once mighty Buriganga river, which flows by Dhaka, is now one of the most polluted rivers in Bangladesh because of rampant dumping of industrial and human waste. "Much of the Buriganga is now gone, having fallen to ever insatiable land grabbers and industries dumping untreated effluents into the river," said Ainun Nishat, a leading environmental expert. "The water of the Buriganga is now so polluted that all fish have died, and increasing filth and human waste have turned it like a black gel.A World Bank study said four major rivers near Dhaka -- the Buriganga, Shitalakhya, Turag and Balu -- receive 1.5 million cubic metres of waste water every day from 7,000 industrial units in surrounding areas and another 0.5 million cubic metres from other sources. “We want the rivers fully dredged, their illegal occupation ended and the laws strictly enforced to prevent abuse of waterways," said Nishat. Environmentalists say they are hopeful. "Not many days ago Singapore River was also like our Buriganga. But they cleaned it up and now turned it into a great resource," he said.