Bangladesh

Increase storage capacity of water bodies: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called for enhancing surface water by increasing the storage capacity of water bodies across the country, aiming to protect the biodiversity, boost fish production and ensure safe water for all.

"All the canals, beels, haors, ponds and rivers throughout the country need to be excavated to enhance their storage capacity and navigability," she said while addressing a function arranged to launch a series of development projects through a videoconference from Gono Bhaban on Thursday.

"If we can do that, our biodiversity and balance of nature will be protected on one hand and fish production will increase on the other, enabling us to fulfill the people's demand for fish," the prime minister said.

Hasina said her government has also taken various plans and are implementing those in this regard.

The government has a special attention towards ensuring safe water and sanitation, the PM said.

"Our goal is that safe water will have to be supplied to the people of our country." 

She also said the government has taken plans to supply safe water up to upazila and union levels by treating river water mostly.

The PM said the government has been making all sorts of efforts to protect water resources.

"We've taken steps to dredge every river and restart the river routes following dredging works and improve the river ghats [terminals]," she said, adding that river transportation is the safest and cheapest mode of transport.

Noting that Bangladesh is a riverine country, she said the river is the lifeline of the country. The tourism industry can be flourished using the country's river and sea attractions.

She also said there are large rivers in the country and tourist sites can be developed on the banks of a large river to attract tourists.

The prime minister also stressed the need for adequate research regarding the water resources management saying that it is not possible to achieve excellence in any work without research.

At the function, the prime minister digitally inaugurated the newly-constructed multi-storied Pani Bhaban (Water Bhaban) at Dhaka's Green Road, multi-storied Parjatan Bhaban at Agargaon in the capital, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's 'Mural' and 'Bangabandhu Corner' respectively in front of and inside Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, and the construction works on Sylhet Osmani International Airport Expansion (Phase-1) Project.

The Parjatan Bhaban, a 13-storey building constructed in a modern architectural style, will be used as the offices of Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation, Bangladesh Tourism Board and other organisations.

The Pani Bhaban, a modern 12-storey building, was constructed with a design formulated by engineers of Bangladesh Water Development Board.

The ministers and high officials concerned were connected from Pani Bhaban and Osmani International Airport, Sylhet.

State Minister for Water Resources Zaheed Farooque and State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Md Mahbub Ali also spoke on the occasion.

PM's Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus conducted the function, while Civil Aviation and Tourism Secretary (Senior) Md Mohibul Haque and Water Resources Secretary (Senior) Kabir Bin Anwar delivered the welcome speeches.

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