Nat’l River Commission Bill passage next session

Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan on Wednesday said the ‘National River Protection Commission Bill 2013’ will be passed in the next parliament session aiming to protect the country’s rivers from encroachers and pollution.The minister was talking to reporters after attending the 21st meeting of the Task Force on Maintaining Navigability and Free Flow of Major Rivers at his ministry.
Shajahan said the National River Protection Commission Bill has already been approved by the Cabinet. “After passage of the bill, the River Commission will form a committee whose recommendations will be implemented by the Shipping Ministry.”
The establishment of boundary pillars around four rivers in Dhaka, Munshiganj, Gazipur and Narayanganj have been completed, he said, adding that deputy commissioners of the four districts have been asked to submit reports within 15 days on whether there is any defect regarding establishments of the boundary pillars.
A sub-committee under the Task Force will arrange human chain programmes in areas concerned to raise awareness for stopping river pollution, caused by discharge of domestic wastages, around the capital soon, he added.
The minister said boundary pillars on a stretch of eight kilometres will be set up at the connecting point of Dhaleshwari river between Dhaka and Manikganj.
Dhaka Wasa has already reclaimed four out of total 26 canals completely and the rest partially, he said.
Referring to the demand of local people for removing dams along the Boral River in Pabna, the minister said a committee, to be formed later, will visit the river and verify the justification of the demand. “Action will be taken following recommendation of the committee.”
About the river pollution caused by industrial wastages, the he said both short and long-term measures have been taken to resolve the problem.
When his attention was drawn to the allegation of encroachment of the banks of the Turag River, Shajahan Khan said: “We’re trying our best to protect the river with limited manpower. It’ll be solved gradually as it is not possible to solve the problem within short time with limited manpower.”
Land Minister Rezaul Karim Hira, AKM Mozammel Haque, MP, Sanjida Khanam, MP, Nasim Osman, MP, Nasrul Hamid, MP, and officials concerned attended the meeting. UNB

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