BNP Blames Govt’s ‘Destructive’ Policy For Environmental Degradation

Desk Report

Published: 25 Apr 2024, 08:27 pm

BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi. Photo: Collected

BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi. Photo: Collected

BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi on Thursday accused the Awami League government of pursuing a 'destructive' development policy in the name of development, causing environmental degradation across the country.

“The scorching heat in Dhaka has surpassed all the previous records. This was not supposed to happen as there are many rivers like Turag, Buriganga and Shitalakshya around Dhaka. The reality is that encroachers have grabbed these rivers. They have filled up almost every river in the country. It is possible during the rule of an autocratic regime.” he said.

Expressing concern over the public suffering caused by a severe heatwave sweeping the country, the BNP leader also said the rising temperatures are a result of the current regime's anti-environmental activities.

Rizvi came up with the comments while distributing bottled water, saline, and juice to pedestrians, day labourers, rickshaw pullers, street vendors, and other working-class of people in front of BNP’s Nayapaltan central office.

The BNP's Dhaka South City unit organised the programme to alleviate public suffering as temperatures reach unprecedented levels. The unusually high temperatures pose grave risks to public health, especially heat-related illnesses such as heatstroke and dehydration-induced diarrhoea.

Rizvi said the green experts and scientists have repeatedly advised the government not to set up coal-based power plants. “But the anti-mass prime minister has ignored their advice and instead embarked on mega projects in the name of development for indulging in massive corruption."

He also said the government is setting up a coal-based thermal power plant in Patuakhali's Kalapara area by ignoring the opinion of environmental experts which poses a serious threat to the biodiversity of the entire Barishal region.

"Due to the construction of thermal power plants, coconut trees are no longer bearing fruit in the coastal areas of Patuakhali and adjacent regions of Barishal. There was a time when coconuts grew abundantly in those areas, but now even the rivers lack fish," the BNP leader said.

He also highlighted the extreme damage caused to the biodiversity of the Sundarbans by the Rampal coal-fired thermal power project.

“The Sundarbans, often referred to as the lungs of Bangladesh, is now struggling for survival alongside its iconic inhabitants like the world-renowned Royal Bengal tiger, crocodiles of the Pasur River, and the graceful deer due to Rampal power plant,” Rizvi said.

He said the government has no focus on creating a livable environment for the people of the country as it does not think that people are the source of power. “So, they can do anything, including destroying our environment, forest and rivers”.

About the upcoming upazila polls, the BNP leader said the government is now going to hold 'upazila elections with dummy candidates similar to the 12th parliamentary elections.

He said the ruling party MPs have created their own reigns in every parliamentary area ahead of the upazila elections. “Even, the Awami League leaders are also not getting any chance to contest the elections. The MPs' reigns have been established with the wives, brothers, and brothers-in-law of ministers and MPs.”_UNB 

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