People living on banks of Dhaleswari, Shitalakkhya at health risk

Wastes dumped from various factories are polluting the water of the Dhaleswari and the Shitalakkhya rivers in the district.

As a result, people living on the riverbank are at health risk.
Allegations have been raised that different cement factories are grabbing many portions of the rivers by filling earth and building structures on the riverbanks.

The ashes of cement factories are getting mixed with the water of the Dhaleshwari River and falling on nearby houses.

Liquid chemical mixed waste materials from different textile mills are causing air pollution in Char Muktapur. The wastes, ashes from cement, and dying and printing factories are polluting water which is causing problems among local people when they take bath in the river.

Clinker ships are loaded and unloaded openly near the cement factories. Ashes from cement factories are polluting air of the areas near the river including Hatlaxmiganj, Nayagaon, Mireshwarai, Muktarpur, Malirpathar, Firingibazar, and Char Muktarpur.

Locals said the water of the Dhaleswari River has become polluted, which is spreading foul smell in about three to four kilometre areas. Fishes have also got extinct. Fishermen don’t find fish in the river.

Environment Department has fined and sent warning notice to different factories recently, but that produced no result.

Villagers of Charmuktapur recently formed a human chain, demanding opening of the government roads and preventing grabbing of the Dhaleswari and Shitalakkhya rivers.

Fazlur Rahman Fatik of Gosaibag Village in Muktapur alleged that Shah Cement factory has captured his 14.70 hundred decimals of land. When he protested, they sent their workers to prevent him.

Arash Dewan of West Muktapur also alleged that Shah Cement has captured his 14.34 hundred decimals land. They also have captured government road causing woes to public commuting.

Allegations have been found that Md. Rakib’s 514 decimals of land of Naogaon, Delowar Hossain’s 357 decimals of land have been captured by the cement company. In fact, 12 hundred decimals of land of Naogaon Jam-e-Masjid (waqf) have also been captured by them.

District President of Bangladesh Paribesh Andolan Advocate Mujibur Rahman said the rivers are dead in the grabbing-pollution cycle. Different industries are being established illegally grabbing the rivers.

Locals are falling ill due to air and water pollution. Cultivation has been destroyed. Vessels cannot move in the water body due to encroachment.

Deputy Commissioner (DC) Shaila Farzana admitted the grabbing and pollution, and said many industries were established on both sides of the river. Some of those are legal and some are illegal. Almost every industry dumps wastes in the rivers.

Md. Mozammel Hossain

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