Hatirjheel’s environment needs to be strictly monitored
WITHIN the urban cacophony and concrete mess, Hatirjheel is among the few areas which allow the residents of Dhaka to breathe fresh air, marvel at open space and enjoy some greenery. In fact, the whole place was designed not only to provide an alternate, fast route to Gulshan and other congestion-prone areas of the city, but also create a modern-day multipurpose utility that would also off-set some of the thoughtless ecological devastation which goes on unchecked. However, a New Age photo taken of the water bodies surrounding the roads in Hatirjheel show a thick rotten lacquer of waste. This is indeed disconcerting because unless the water is cleaned immediately, the carpet of filth will spread fast, covering almost the entire water filled zones. The worry stems from two reasons: firstly, a large number of people from working classes, whose budget living do not allow indulgent spending at theme parks, throng the Hatirjheel area to spend leisurely time after work and on weekends. Therefore, there is every possibility that polluted water by which people sit to unwind can be a breeding ground for germs. Secondly, we all know that dirty water is a blessing for mosquitoes and hence, these large pools of water, if left in the current state, can be a breeding paradise for mosquitoes as well as other insects.
Obviously, the last thing we need is a cesspool in the heart of the city, contributing to the almost inevitable yearly resurgence of a Dengue complication. It is important to note also that if the government has any plans to release fish into these water filled areas for grand scale aquatic life cultivation and, perhaps, paid fishing opportunities, clean water supported by a conducive environment is essential. The whole area is surrounded by residential homes and it is possible that many makeshift hotels, shacks and mobile food sellers dispose their daily waste in the water. If that is the case then strict enforcement of environmental preservation is needed with the support of a security force. Warning billboards have to be put up and if the city corporation is short of funds then the government can easily ask country’s premier business conglomerates to take up the maintenance of the area’s environment as part of their corporate social responsibility. In exchange, the respective business houses can advertise their name as a champion for a greener city.
The truth is, no problem is insurmountable and can easily be resolved with a win-win equation for all parties involved. Luckily, Hatirjheel is relatively new with the degradation still at a nascent stage so sooner the government acts the better.
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