River grabbers have unholy alliance with enforcement authorities: NRCC chair

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:52, Sep 25,2018 | Updated: 00:59, Sep 25,2018


Buildings have been set up by grabbing river banks and ignoring river demarcation pillars at Kamrangirchar in Dhaka. The photo was taken on Monday. — Indrajit Kumer Ghosh

The National River Conservation Commission chairman Muzibur Rahman Howlader said Monday that river grabbing and the spread of pollution were continuing in the country due to the authorities’ indifference to take action against the offenders.
Speaking at a discussion as the chief guest he said that the gross irregularities were taking place as the grabbers and polluters formed an unholy alliance with the Department of Environment, BIWTA, Water Development Board and the concerned deputy commissioners’ offices.
The discussion on unabated pollution of rivers passing by the capital was jointly organized by Bangladesh Poribesh Bachao Andolan, better known as BAPA, NRCC and Buriganga Riverkeeper at National Press Club.
Muzibur Rahman said that the government created the National River Conservation Commission as a powerless commission only empowered to make recommendations.
That’s why, he said, the enforcement authorities ignore recommendations made by the NRCC.
‘If the commission had power we would demolish all the structures that had been illegally constructed on rivers. We want to do it,’ he said.
He said that the NRCC was preparing a report on the issue.
He said that the report would be presented to the prime minister Sheikh Hasina so that she could take action.
Commission’s permanent member Md Alauddin said that among the country’s 17 commissions the NRCC alone had been assigned enormous responsibilities but no power to discharge them.
NRCC member Sharmeen Murshid said that the government should make it mandatory for entrepreneurs to take permission of NRCC for setting up industries by rivers.
She said that all the enforcement authorities should be made accountable to the NRCC.
BAPA general secretary Abdul Motin who chaired the discussion said that there was lack of political commitment to protect the rivers from grabbers and the polluters.
BAPA joint secretary and Buriganga Riverkeeper Sharif Jamil said that after relocating the tanneries to Savar they were polluting the Dhaleswari
Green activists Shamsul Haque, Suruj Mia, Zahidul Islam Bhuyan and Sohag Mohajon also took part in the discussions. 

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