Bangladesh is a riverine country. Due to have a low land, the country is flooded with rivers. All the rivers are connected across the country and eventually meet at Bay of Bengal. Most of the sources of this water come from India who has a higher land, geographically.
The capital Dhaka is also blessed with few rivers and lakes. They somehow meet the demand to provide water supply to the homes of the massive population of Dhaka. However, the condition of these rivers is at stake at the moment. Since 1980s, people from different parts of the country started coming to Dhaka for trade and better lifestyle. Therefore, it was needed to expand Dhaka by filling lands. Currently, the government is trying to save the rivers to make it sustainable for the future generations.
Today we’ll find out the rivers in and around Dhaka.
1. Buriganga River:
The capital Dhaka has developed around the Buriganga River. It serves as the main source of water supply for the inhabitants of the city.
Starting from the west, the river has streamed through the south to eventually join the mighty Padma. The name ‘Buriganga’ has evolved from its main source Ganges. The Ganges meets Dhaleshwari River before combining with the Bay of Bengal. It is said that the Mughals were surprised to see the water levels of Buriganga when they first came to establish the city. Later, the link was lost and Dhaleshwari became the main source for Buriganga. The average depth of the river is 25 feet and maximum 58 feet.
The Buriganga is also commercially important for the capital Dhaka. Launch and steamers sails from here to other parts of the country. This made the trade and transportation much easier. In fact, Mughals started trading since 1610 through this channel.
Today, Buriganga has lost its identity and stream. Pollution has engulfed the river heavily. Majority of those causes from tannery wastes. Besides, people are littering the banks from the roads. Passengers are littering from launch. Even, most of the sewerage lines have ended in this river.
2. Turag River:
This river is an upper stream of Buriganga. It inherits from Bangshi River, then flowing through Gazipur, finally ends at Buriganga. The river is transportable at any time of the year. ‘Tongi Khal,’ a long canal inside the city connects this river.
The second biggest Islamic assembly after Hazz, ‘Biswa Ijtema’ helds at the bank of Turag River. This river is massively famous for that reason.
The river has lost its color due to pollution. Besides, repeated land-fillings occur in this river. Illegal construction is a common practice. As a result, the life of this river is in serious threat. Government is trying hard to widen the river by evicting unauthorized dominance.
3. Balu River:
This river originates from Turag River and moves through different swamps and canals before meeting Shitalakhya at Demra, Dhaka. The river carries flood water during rainy season from Shitalakhya and Turag River.
It serves local drainage and groundwater to the city. Small boats are accessible to cross the River.
4. Sitalakhya River:
Shitalakhya is one of the largest rivers of Bangladesh which is about 110 km long and 300 meter wide at maximum. It flows from Brahmaputra and finally merges with Dhaleshwari. Starting from the west, it flows toward the east to the city of Narayanganj. Average depth of this river is 33 feet and maximum is 70 feet.
The Mughal Capital of this region was Sonargaon. It lied at the bank of Shitalakhya. Several historical forts and mosques are still there by this river. Even today, the weaving and garment industry are based on the banks of this river. The only jute mill of the country which is Adamjee Jute Mill, has also developed here. Earlier, this river played a significant role for Muslin industry.
A river port is also here by the Shitalakhya at Narayanganj. Launches, steamers and boats start from here for the different parts of the country. Currently, a container terminal is under construction for shipment.
The river also suffers from pollution. Most of the industries has grown around this river, Thereafter, the waste products are dumped in the river water.
5. Dhaleshwari River:
One of the largest rivers of the country, Dhaleshwari, has a length of 160 km. Its average depth is 122 feet which can be up to 265 feet at some places.
The great range of this river is found in Tangail district. It’s in Dhaka division and a 2 hour drive from the capital. This river has a very complex route and branches. It has two branches and is a distributary of Jamuna River. The northern branch which is at the north of Manikganj is called the Dhaleshwari River. Subsequently, the other part, called Kaliganga River, flows through the southern part of Manikganj. Then, the merged flow falls into the Shitalakhya at Narayanganj. Once, the Buriganga used to be the distributary of this river. The combined flow finally joins the Meghna River. Slowly, the Padma took over its present course.
This river is also having pollution at a great extent. Liquid waste from Savar Tannery goes here without being treated properly.