Health risks are extreme
It is impossible to walk in the smell of water and waste of Adi Buriganga. Health risks are extreme. Recently, the environmentalist Kamruzzaman said that every liter of water of the original Buriganga is supposed to contain 5 ml of oxygen, but there is only 5.5 ml. The suffering of a damaged riverbed in a densely populated area is a burden to convey. This sewage stinks in the dry season, waterlogged in the monsoons. The dream of changing the condition of the original Buriganga river is in the eyes of the people here.
Mubarak Mia’s tea shop is on the bank of the river. Talked to several local men and women there. A woman said that she drank the water of this river and cooked with this water. I was surprised. The water that I see in front of my eyes, the stench of the life is mouth-watering, this water could be eaten!
Mubarak continued, ‘These buildings have been built for 30 years. There was nothing before. The river was wider, full of water, boats moving. We have been watching them.’
I was not surprised. The story of all the rivers in Bangladesh is pretty much the same. Once flourishing, now dying. I wanted to know their opinion about the grand plan of Adi Buriganga channel.
One said, ‘I don’t see anything yet. It’s not progress, it’s just picking up dirt. There is one Hatirjheel, it has no water like that, no road. The place of the river has not been recovered yet.’
It’s true. No initiative to build a second Hatirjheel is yet visible in Adi Buriganga.
The pace of work is quite slow, eviction of occupiers is not complete, waste management and planning is not yet clear. The well-organized planning and operations of the army seen for Hatirjheel were completely absent during the early Buriganga.