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Friday, 14 June 2024
Major battle begins to protect rivers : Khalid Mahmud

Major battle begins to protect rivers : Khalid Mahmud

Staff Correspondent

State Minister of Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury MP said that the current generation of Bangladesh is very talented because they have created so much scope, if we cannot use it - then the blood that has been lost for our freedom and rights under the leadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman; That blood will be in vain.

We do not want such a big pride of Bangladesh, such a big place of pride to be defeated by such criminals, invaders, polluters. We cannot accept this, we will not accept it and our struggle will continue and the struggle will continue.

The state minister said these things in his speech as the chief guest at the 'National River Conference-2024' at Krishibid Institution at Farmgate in Dhaka on Sunday.

Chaired by Emeritus Professor Dr. Ainun Nishat, Sarwar Mahmud, Chairman of National River Protection Commission, Additional Secretary of Shipping Ministry, Sheikh Md. Sharif Uddin, Khushi Kabir, Coordinator of Navira Kari, Syeda Rizwana Hasan, Chief Executive of Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA), Shamsul Huda, Executive Director of ALRD, Sheikh Rokon, Secretary General of Riverine People, Director of Riverine People. Tuhin Wadud, Chairman of River and Delta Research Center. Ejaz, Bangladesh River Foundation Chairman Muhammad Monir Hossain, writer and journalist Gaurang Nandi, river organizer Juliet Kaya Malakar, Ranjit Dutta, Aliur Rahman, Noor Alam Sheikh, Paltan Hajong, SM Mizanur Rahman, Khairul Islam, Tofazzal Hossain Sohel.

The National River Conference 2024 ended today with the theme of saving rivers, saving the country. ALRD, BELA, Water Rights Forum, Riverine People, Bangladesh Nadi Paribaraj Dal jointly organized this conference.

The state minister said, today's conference proves how much we think about the river. In 1971, Bangabandhu said, the navigability of our rivers is disappearing. Navigability should be brought back. At that time Bangabandhu procured seven dredgers for BIWTA. He said, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that the rivers of Bangladesh are our veins like the blood that flows through the veins of the human body. Bangladesh will stop when they stop. The prime minister has a lot of love for the river. After the formation of the Awami League government in 1996, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was the first to talk about protecting the rivers around Dhaka.

There is no evidence that any government or head of state has said such things before. Today, because the head of the government says that the river must be protected, it stands as strength for those who think and talk about the river. Not just river capture. After Bangabandhu's family was killed in 1975, all areas were occupied. The great festival of possession goes on. The killing of Bangabandhu is not an individual or family murder, it is a conspiracy to kill Bangladesh.

Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury said, Bangabandhu ruled the country on morality. I do not believe that the people of a country that can give their lives for the freedom of 3 million people cannot create Sonar Bangla, I cannot believe that the people of that country can kill and occupy the river. Rivers and canals are our wealth. We would not have been able to defeat the Pakistani invasion forces without the Nadi Nala Canal Bill.

At that time, rivers and canals have been used as shields. How the Sundarbans protect us from cyclones. National River Protection Commission is a new institution. They conducted various surveys, listed the occupants. There may be mistakes in these places, but the journey has begun. A major battle has begun to protect the river. We will win this war. Awareness should be created in the areas of encroachment, prevention of pollution, illegal sand mining etc. to protect the river. Those of you who work to protect rivers, create awareness. Identify responsibilities. National River Protection Commission will help, Govt.

The state minister said, civilization has developed around the river - this is true. There will be industries, educational institutes, cities on the banks of the river, everything is fine.

They will protect the river, not destroy it. During the 2019 eviction of illegal riverside structures around Dhaka city, there were many types of powerful people; I have said in Parliament that no one is stronger than the government or the state. The government and the state are serious about eviction of illegal structures on the banks of the river.

He said, I am grateful to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. He told me at that time, you work with your eyes closed. Evict the illegal squatters and bring the river back to life. We are working with highest priority to protect the river.

During the current government, there has been a river protection commission, the Howr board has been elevated to a directorate, and sand management policies have been made.

The Prime Minister has directed that 'Balumhal lease cannot be granted without any hydrographic survey. Sand cannot be lifted from the same place again and again. We observe Maritime Safety Week every year.

Some have said that BNP, Awami League, Jatiya Party are all together while occupying the river. It is not political power. They are criminals. The government will see them as criminals. The government will show zero tolerance in this place. There must be development. Sand is needed for development. But for that Balumhal will not be everywhere.

Hydrographic survey should be carried out. The government is working towards the goal of digging 10,000 kilometers of waterways.

BIWTA is working tirelessly. BIWTA has 45 dredgers. They are not sitting. is working According to the policy, 40 percent is government, the remaining 60 percent is private

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