Readers’ Forum

25 November 2021

Curbing the rise of fuel prices

With the rising prices of daily necessities including rice, pulses, oil and onions, not only the people of limited income but also the middle class are struggling to run their families. The rate at which commodity prices are rising does not keep pace with people's income. As a result, it is becoming increasingly difficult for lower and middle class people to make a healthy living, while the recent rise in diesel, kerosene and LPG prices has put additional pressure on them.  As the direct effect of rising fuel prices is increased travel cost. But its indirect effects will be wide and immeasurable. The cost of crop production and transportation of goods will be increased, which will affect the prices of daily necessities.  As a result, the cost of living will increase manifold and it will also be difficult for the people of limited income to make a suitable living; a kind of psycho-social and economic problem will be created among the people; the violence of the dishonest business syndicate of the society will be increased.
It is true that everyone involved in transportation has benefited from the rise in fuel prices, but the general public will have to bear the brunt of the rising cost.  The anarchy that has already arisen over the increase in transport fares indicates a single dominance and extreme chaos in this sector.  Thus, it would never be desirable to raise the price of fuel indiscriminately without a fair trial.  In this case, the government should take into account the overall welfare of the people, curb the rise in fuel prices and bring those who want to benefit by creating this chaotic situation under the law to ensure severe punishment.

Protect canals and reservoirs of Savar
Savar is a densely populated industrial area near Dhaka on the banks of the river Bangshi.  It is basically a garment-centric industrial area.  A large number of small and large garment factories have sprung up here.  Besides, the leather industry, shifted from Hazaribagh in Dhaka, is also located in Savar.  Due to the existence of garment and leather factories, the small canals and reservoirs scattered around Bangshi and Dhaleshwari rivers near Savar are constantly being polluted by the chemical mixed water emitted from these factories.  These rivers, canals and reservoirs are losing their diversity due to the oppression of the riverine occupiers on the one hand and the chemical mixed water and waste emitted from the factories on the other.  
In such a situation, the High Court has recently directed to take measures to prevent pollution including protection of Bagail, Dholai and Pakuria beels and Karnapara canal in Savar upazila.  The court said most of the factories in the area do not have their own ETP or waste treatment plant.  Some factories do not even have environmental clearance.  Despite the Department of Environment's obligation to comply with certain rules and regulations, in most cases, due to lack of proper supervision by the administration, these factories are indiscriminately dumping chemical-mixed waste into the river without heeding the law.  As a result, river water is getting polluted and aquatic animals are also under threat.  Not only that, the population living in these areas is also being adversely affected.  Due to the use of river water, many people are getting infected with various diseases including skin diseases. Therefore, it is very important for the concerned authorities to take strict action against the polluting factories including protection of the mentioned rivers, canals and reservoirs.

Monirul Haque Rony
Jhikargachha, Jashore

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