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BWDB blamed for dying rivers

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Staff Reporter
Environment activists said ‘faulty and egoistic’ attitude of the Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) is the major reason why the country’s many rivers are dying.
They also said the task force, formed to save rivers, is also unable to change things as they can do nothing but place recommendations for remedial measures, and the engineers and other officials at the BWDB seem unwilling to correct their own faults.
Speaking at a roundtable, styled ‘Equal Access to Floodplain, Haor and River’, executive director of Bangladesh Environment Lawyers’ Association (Bela) Syeda Rizwana Hasan said BWDB functions as if it is the sole owner of rivers instead of people and pursues structures in their sweet will which in many cases have led to the killing of rivers.
The roundtable was organized by Actionaid at Cirdap marking the World Water Day 2014.
BWDB engineers are building the structures without conducting any environment impact assessment (EIA), she claimed.
Rizwana Hasan noted that the reason behind the dying of the Baral River ‘is the destructive programs taken by the BWDB engineers.
The task force has also recommended removing the structures, but the recommendations have not been implemented by the officials, she added. “It seems the officials are egoistic and against anything to undo what they’ve done,” she remarked.
The roundtable was moderated by Actionaid country director Farah Kabir.

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