Monday, 18 February, 2019

Hatirjheel losing appeal to visitors

Published on: 12:08 pm - Tuesday | March 13, 2018

Hatirjheel, a new visitor attraction for the capital, is losing its appeal due mainly to stinky water of the lake.


A huge amount of human and industrial wastes from nearby areas enters the lake through secret sewerage lines every day, polluting severely the water body.


Besides, many visitors dump bottles of soft drinks, food-box and poly-bag into the lake, contaminating the water.


During a recent visit to Hatirjheel, the daily sun saw industrial wastes from some factories at Tajgaon falling into the lake through drains.


It also found that paper, poly-bag, food box and other wastes are floating on the lake water, emitting rotten-egg smell in the area.


Talking to the daily sun, some residents living in Rampura area said the number of visitors has declined at Hatirjheel due mainly to foul-smells from the wastes dumped into the lake.


However, project officials blamed the 10 hidden sewerage lines around the lake for water pollution.


They said Dhaka Wasa was supposed to build separate sewerage lines in Hatirjheel area but they failed to do it in the last five years.


Currently, a sewerage line is being constructed behind Hotel Pan Pacific Sonargaon – one of the points out of the 10 sewerage lines. But such an initiative is absent at nine other points – Moghbazar-Tongi diversion road, Tejgaon, Modhubagh, Begunbari, Rampura, Badda, Niketon and two spots at Mohakhali.


Solid wastes with rainwater enter the Hatirjheel through the aforesaid points and contaminate the lake water.


Prof Mujibur Rahman, the main planner of Hatirjheel-Begunbari Project, said, “If  the indiscriminate dumping of  solid wastes into Hatirjheel continues, the environment will never be visitor-friendly here.”


“If RAJUK wants to keep Hatijheel water clean, it will have to convince Wasa to build separate sewerage lines at each point of the lake,” Prof Mujibur said.


As the lake water remains stagnant for a long time, the colour of water has turned black.

As a result, adjacent areas of Hatirjheel project are facing serious environmental pollution.


Amid foul-smelling lake water, it has been impossible for visitors to stand on the lakesides  for a long time.


People living around Hatirjheel area are annoyed because of the spread of stench.


Md Sanaul Islam, a resident of West Rampura, said the stinking near Rampura bridge and at the back of the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel is unbearable.


Experts said waste refineries need to be set up, but it is yet to be implemented.


Hatirjeel Project Director of Wasa Md Mamun said the separate sewerage line at Sonargaon point will be completed soon.


He, however, discarded any possibility of setting up any effluent treatment plant (ETP) amid land scarcity in the area.


RAJUK Chairman Md Abdur Rahman laid emphasis on construction of separate sewerage lines to keep the Hatirjheel water pollution-free. He said his office requested Wasa to do it at a recent meeting.


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina opened the Hatirjheel-Begunbari integrated development project on January 2, 2013. The project area covering 302 acres of  land facilitates connectivity between eastern and western parts of Dhaka.


Since its opening to public, Hatirjheel has become a gathering hub for the city people, especially at weekends and festivals.

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