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Outside Chobi Mela VI: Eyes and Scars

January 22, 2011 Leave a comment

As Chobi Mela VI continues in Dhaka, we here present a visual series of images of the mass urbanization occurring in Dhaka and its consequences.

On the periphery of Dhaka, behind one of the Jatrabari Market the remains of a pond, once potable. As the city of Dhaka grows in population the need for urban housing does too. Nearly 300,000 to 400,000 people come to the city every year in search of income. Some stay temporarily, some sleep on the street but in the meantime thousands of high rises are being built for all classes. Dhaka suffers from one of the most polluted urban environments and with a low supply of drinking water. Yet the water table is very low below the ground surface. Dhaka used to be a city of fresh water ponds, as was once pictured here. Due to a lack of space in the city and the fast paced urban construction these ponds have been destroyed due to land fills. The irony lies in that as Bangladesh’s countryside slowly floods in the north and the south due to climate change,  Dhaka too will soon suffer more arriving water from the sea, making the already scarce water supply salty.

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Dhaka Mega City Post #10: No Need to go to Hell Just Come to Hazaribag.

August 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Over the years the government agencies in Dhaka have shown little responsibility in controlling and even measuring industrial pollution in the city that is dumped indiscriminately into the Buriganga river. The Department of Environment has little knowledge of how many industries treat their residues. According to the World Bank and the Institute of Water Modelling, over 300 various effluent discharge outlets from nine major industrial clusters fall into the Buriganga. Nineteen of these outlets carry the major discharge of domestic and industrial waste. Of the discharged untreated liquid waste, 61 percent are industrial and 39 percent domestic waste.

The primary estimates showed that nearly 330,000 kilograms of BOD is discharged from various polluting sources every day in Dhaka’s watershed. Over the last 10 years major industrialisation in Dhaka, especially in dyeing, washing and textiles sectors has abused the river’s watershed. It is estimated that there are over 7,000 industries in Dhaka metropolis located in three clusters: Hazaribagh, Tejgaon and DND area. According to statistics from Department of the Environment, the number of polluting dyeing mills is 365, tanneries 198, pharmaceutical units 149, engineering workshops 129, chemicals and pesticide factories 118, jute mills 92, rubber and plastic units 63, food and sugar 38, paper and pulp 10, cement and fertilisers five each and distilleries four.