Save Mayur river for water security of Khulna city

A day-long research dissimination and sharing meeting of the peri-urban project was held at Khulna City Corporation (KCC) on October 15, 2012. The Institute of Water and Flood Management (IWFM) of BUET, Environmental Science Department of Khulna University, Institute of Livelihood Studies (ILS) and the Khulna City Corporation (KCC) jointly organized this sharing meeting to discuss the research findngs of the IDRC funded action-research project – “Water Security in Peri-Urban South Asia: Adaptining to Climate Change and Urbanization”. The KCC Mayor invited Ward Councellors of 31 wards in KCC to discuss the research findings and water security issues in Khulna.
In the opening session, Project Leader Professor Dr. M. Shah Alam Khan discussed the research agenda and briefed the project overview to the invited participants. Professor Khan said that they were very happy to see a positive response of the KCC on the research findings of the project at Khulna. We are really thankful to him and for his active support in the research process.
Professor Dr. Dilip Kumar Datta of Khulna University presented the research findings in the sharing meeting and called for a stategic action to save the river Mayur which helps in providing water security to peri-urban Khulna. Prof. Datta also conveyed that the groundwater resources of KCC contain very high amout of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) and surface water bodies are highly polluted due to solid waste and wastewater discharges form the KCC area. He added that illegal encroachment of the natural Khals ( or canals) and drainage canals have been causing serious water logging problem in the city and the periphery. Professor Datta also said that KCC has no other alternate way but to save the river Mayur for long term water security in Khulna.
Mayur River is a surface water source in Khulna, said Professor Datta and his research team. Professor Datta also added that his reaearch team had already conducted several studies on Mayur, and now from their research findings it is very much evident that Mayur River can no longer be used as a potential surface water source in Khulna. Various studies on geo-chemical, geomorphological, wastewater characterization, hydrochemistry, conflict in water use and cost-benefits analysis of Mayur river have already been completed. Thus, Proffesor Datta on behalf of the peri-urban research team announced that if KCC authority is willig to take up activites to save the river, the research team is ready to provide research and other technical support to the KCC.
About 31 lakh gallon/day effluent is discharged from the KCC into the Mayur River system. However, it is advised that this huge effluent should be treated before final discharge to the Mayur River. Considering this case, a small scale ETP could be an effective option for KCC.
In the discussion session, KCC Mayor Mr. Talukder Abdul Khaleque expressed their commitment to save the Mayur and other natural Khals in the KCC. He said that some powerful land-grabbers with political support destroyed the KCC’s Khals in the name lease. He clearly expressed his desire in saving Khulna and its people. He told that KCC is taking action without political consideration and hopes that it does so every time. He informed that he already aksed the District Commissioner permission for excavating conneting canals in KCC and he believes that within his time period; he will be able to save 22-Khals from the grabbers. He claims that KDA has a Master Plan but it is not put into action. There are no activities to implement the Master Plan. He requested the ward councillors to motivate local people against any illegal work that could harm the peoples’ interest and their environment. Mayor also requested the research team to discuss the same issues and research results with with KDA and other authorities. Mayor ensured that he will help the research team to implement any work in future that will provide benefits for Khulna’s people.
In the end, Professor Khan said that Mayur River is not only important for water security but also its benefits are ecological. Mayor communicated that the discussion and output of this meeting will be shared with the Deputy Comissioner.  He requested the research team to submit a proposal to save the Mayur.  Finally, he stated that he is ready to face any big challenge to implement good work for Khulna and its people.
(Source: SaciWATERs)

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