Views Bangladesh

Views Bangladesh Logo

Natural gene bank Halda river should be kept pollution free

Editorial  Desk

Editorial Desk

Thu, 13 Jun 24

The Halda River, flowing over the districts of Khagrachari and Chittagong, is highly significant for several reasons. The main reason is that every year, the river witnesses abundant spawning of species such as Rui, Katla, Mrigel, Kalibaus, and Carp fish. Halda is the only tidal river in the world from where a significant amount of spawn from Rui and Carp species is collected. No other tidal river on Earth allows for the collection of spawn from Rui species.

The Halda River and its water possess certain unique characteristics that attract fish to spawn here, distinguishing it from other rivers in Bangladesh. While there are many fisheries breeding grounds in Bangladesh, there isn't a single river where fish spawn is collected. Halda stands as the only natural gene bank in Bangladesh. Apart from that, the Halda River is referred to as the "lifeline" of Chittagong. This is because nearly 60 to 70 lakh people reside in the city of Chittagong. To meet their demands, Chittagong Water Supply Authority extracts water from the Halda River from morning till night. Every day, 18 crore liters of water are collected from this river to supply to the city.

The Halda River also makes a significant contribution to the country's economy. The amount of spawn collected from the Halda River every year is used to produce plankton, which then becomes fish food, and eventually leads to the production of fingerlings. These fingerlings are then utilized for fish consumption. Through this entire process, the Halda River contributes approximately 800 crore taka to the national economy each year. For various reasons, the Halda River is increasingly recognized as crucial. Therefore, since 2017, both government and non-governmental organizations, research institutions, and local administrations have taken steps to manage the Halda River in a coordinated manner. However, there is concerning news that industrial waste is being dumped into the river, posing a risk to the fish population. This puts the mother fish at risk. According to a news published in the newspaper yesterday, Wednesday (June 12), it has been revealed that during the breeding season, the Halda River, one of Asia's major natural fish breeding centers, is being polluted. Various industrial and domestic wastes are flowing into the Halda River through five canals in Hathazari upazila of Chittagong.

Outside the city, in Chandgaon area of Chittagong, various factories including shoe and packaging factories have been established. The waste from these factories is directly dumped into the canal. Besides, the waste from factories in Oxygen, Chandgaon, and Kulgaon areas of Chittagong city, as well as domestic waste from residential areas, is also being dumped into the river. Local residents are implementing various initiatives, including human chains, to resist pollution.

The government has designated the areas around the Halda River as Environmentally Critical Areas (ECAs). This means that no waste should be disposed of here, and there should be no activities that would pollute the river water. However, despite the pollution becoming evident over the past two weeks, the Department of Environment has not taken any initiative in this regard. If the government remains silent on such an urgent matter, it won't be acceptable. Our demand is for the government to take immediate effective steps to protect the mother fish and the "lifeline" of the Halda River.

Leave A Comment

You need login first to leave a comment

Trending Views