Environmentalists at a discussion on Monday suggested combined efforts to save the rivers Karnaphuli and Halda in Chittagong from industrial pollution.
Department of Environment (Chittagong) organised the discussion at Theatre Institute Chittagong on the occasion of the World Environment Day.
Chittagong University zoology professor and Halda researcher Manzoorul Kibria said that Halda River in Chittagong was the country’s lone spawning centre of major carp fishes such as Ruhi, Katla, Mrigel and Kaliboush.
He said that Halda supplies water to around 65 lakh city dwellers every day and the river generates over Tk 800 crore a year from its fish but unfortunately pollution of the river water, unplanned dam, and sluice gates are contributing to the decrease of fishes in the Halda River.
Very soon Department of Environment is going to declare the river Halda an ecologically critical area (ECA), said the professor.
He said that if Chittagong City Corporation could implement its door to door garbage collecting system and Chittagong Water Supply and Sewerage Authority could install sewerage treatment plant, pollution in the river Karnaphuli could reduce.
As per a High Court directive of 2016, local administration should take initiative to remove about 2,181 illegal structures on the Karnaphuli River banks in Chittagong, said the environmentalist.
Chittagong Port Authority, member (administration and planning) Md Zafar Alam presented a keynote paper ‘connecting people to nature’ at the seminar.
Additional divisional commissioner of Chittagong Shankar Ranjan Saha, deputy commissioner Zillur Rahman Chowdhury, Institute of Forestry and Environmental Sciences of Chittagong University professor Kamal Hossain, DoE (Chittagong) director Masud Karim, director (metropolitan) Azadur Rahman Mallick and director (laboratory) Mokbul Hossain also spoke at the discussion meeting.
Later, they distributed prizes among the winners of different events including painting, essay writing, slogan composing and debate competition that were held to mark the day.
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