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State Minister: Coordinated initiatives needed to rescue the canals of Dhaka

  • Published at 08:46 pm July 23rd, 2020
State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury
State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury Collected

The Ministry of Shipping and the LGRD Ministry are working to implement a master plan for Dhaka City’s rivers and canals, Khalid says

State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury said it is possible to save the rivers and canals of Dhaka from illegal encroachment and keep them pollution free if everyone works together.

He made the remark while visiting the evicted sites of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) which were rescued from the occupiers on both banks of the Turag, Balu, and Shitalakshya rivers and inspecting the construction project of river boundary pillars on Thursday morning.

“The prime minister has approved a master plan for Dhaka city’s rivers and canals. We are working under the leadership of the LGRD Ministry to implement the master plan,” the state minister said.

Praising Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) Mayor Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh’s initiatives, Khalid said: “We are optimistic about the wide range of activities undertaken by the newly elected mayor of DSCC. If they need any kind of cooperation from BIWTA or the Ministry of Shipping, we will be happy to help.” 

“The DSCC mayor has taken a firm stand on this issue [saving canals]. If we can continue the initiatives, then I think we can free the canals around Dhaka and make the rivers of Dhaka pollution free,” Khalid opined. 

Replying to a query on canals in Dhaka, the state minister said: "In the past, the canals in Dhaka were closed and covered by culverts by different governments, which was a cause of disaster for Dhaka. If we can preserve these canals and ensure water flow in the canals, then as I said a few days ago, it is possible for small boats to ply in the waterways of Dhaka.”

On Thursday morning, the state minister started his journey from Tongi river port in Gazipur, visited Narayanganj port, and then came to Pagla ghat of Dhaka river port. During the stop, he planted trees in the Hardi Bazar area of Purbachal, and met the journalists on the boat.

Among others, BIWTA Chairman Commodore Golam Sadeq, Member (Operations) Nurul Alam, and Member (Engineering) Dr AKM Matiur Rahman were present.

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