Cabinet okays river protection commission bill

The cabinet on Monday gave the final approval to the draft of the ‘National River Protection Commission Bill, 2013’ aiming to protect the country’s rivers from encroachers and pollution.

The approval was given at the regular weekly meeting of the cabinet held at Bangladesh Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said once the proposed law is enacted, it would be helpful for the government to take strong steps in protecting rivers, especially from river pollution and encroachment.

Under the law, Musharraf said, a five member commission will be formed for three years comprising one chairman and four members to be appointed by the government.

The members of the commission will comprise river, environment, river engineer or river management experts, and lawyer having expertise on human rights issues.

After enactment of the law, he said, rules will be formulated widening scope for protecting other water bodies like khals, beels and haors; and at one stage initiatives would be taken to prevent erosion in coastal areas.

The cabinet meeting also approved a proposal for ratifying ‘Saarc agreement on Rapid Response to Natural Disaster’ under which the Saarc member countries would be able to make mutual response quickly subject to any natural disaster. Besides, an integrated planning will be adopted to tackle natural disasters.

Three separate reports — one on the visit of a Bangladesh delegation led by Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister to Mauritius, Malaysia and Australia on November 21-28; another on participation of Bangladesh delegation led by Water Resources Minister to Rome on November 28-30 at the ‘Sixth Session of the meeting of the parties to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes’; and other on the commerce minister’s visit to Czech Republic and Germany on November 19-23 — were placed at the cabinet meeting.

About manpower export to Malaysia on government-to-government basis, the cabinet secretary said Tk 40,000 would be required per person willing to go to Malaysia.

The interested persons would be selected from union-level across the country on the basis of population and the ministry concerned will issue a circular in this regard on January 10.

Cabinet members, advisers to the prime minister, state ministers and secretaries concerned attended the meeting

Source: The Daily Star


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