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Bangladesh: Pollution relief elusive for Dhaka rivers by Pinaki Roy February 13,2020   |  Source: The Japan News

Despite repeated promises and top court directives, the rivers that surround the capital city — Buriganga, Turag, Shitalakhya and Balu — remain dead and filthy with pollution. The rotten stench emanating from the polluted Buriganga water hits the nostrils even before one reaches the river’s bank. There, a gray-bearded man is spotted under the Shaheed Buddhijibi bridge. He introduces himself as Shafiqul Islam Khokan. His five-story house, painted red, is situated on the east bank of the Buriganga river, hardly 3 meters away from the waterbody.

How is the quality of the water, he is asked. “It is the same as before. No change.” Shafiqul, 65, said he was born and raised entirely in the Basila area near the Buriganga. He still remembers the time when the water of the river sparkled, in testament to its purity. But then the rampant dumping of liquid waste in the river since the 1980s changed the color of the river in front of his very eyes. When asked if the government’s move to relocate tannery industries from Hazaribagh to Savar had helped, he repeats that all is “the same as before.”

“Every year, things improve for two to three months during the monsoon. Otherwise, the color of the water is black and it is stinky. The water quality deteriorates further in

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