Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today asked all concerned to take proper steps to keep the rivers and other water bodies alive in the country.
“People may die if they have heart block. Our rivers and canals are like the lives of people. So, we have to take measures to keep them flowing,” she said.
The premier made the remarks while virtually inaugurating 80 development schemes that included re-digging 430 small rivers, canals and water bodies and laying foundation stone of 20 new development projects under the Water Resources Ministry, from her official Ganabhaban residence here.
She also inaugurated “65 community eye centres” at 65 Upazila Health Complexes in 28 districts, in the fourth phase, as part of the government’s move to set up eye centre at every upazila across the country under Health and Family Welfare Ministry.
The prime minister asked all concerned to take development schemes focusing on the protection of the rivers and other water reservoirs alongside the environment.
She said in the name of development schemes, rivers, canals, beels and even ponds are being filled up in the country at different occasions which she called a very heinous act.
“So, we have to take every development project maintaining the water flows of the rivers and other water bodies. Whenever any project is taken in our country, we have to ensure protection of the water resources,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina asked to build at least a water reservoir in any development project site, stressing the need for harvesting rain water during the monsoon.
Since the Awami League assumed power in 1996, she said her government has been attaching priority to save the rivers, haor-baor, khal-beel and water bodies following the footprint of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The prime minister said she has been talking about dredging the rivers to save them since returning to the country after six years of forced exile abroad.
She said her government has purchased 41 dredgers since assumed office to dredge the rivers, canals and other water bodies.
The premier also said dredging should be maintained whichever required keeping the natural flow of the water bodies intact.
“The nature will be on its own course, and we have to take steps to save our natural resources,” she said.
Sharsha Upazila of Jashore, Sathia Upazila of Pabna and Shreemongol Upazila of Moulovibazar districts were virtually connected to the programme.
The prime Minister, as well, unveiled the cover of a book titled “Joyjatra” featuring the development schemes implemented in the last 15 years.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque and State Minister for Water Resources Ministry Zaheed Farooque also spoke on the occasion.
Two separate video documentaries on the activities of the Health and Family Welfare and Water Resources Ministries were also screened.