Buriganga River

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Buriganga River
Burigonga River.jpg
A launch sails from Sadarghat on the Buriganga.
BD Map Central Bangladesh.jpg
Native nameবুড়িগঙ্গা নদী  (Bengali)
Physical characteristics
SourceDhaleshwari River
 • locationnear Kalatia
MouthDhaleshwari River
 • location
about 3 km (2 mi) southwest of Fatullah
Length18 km (11 mi)[1]

The Buriganga River (Bengali: বুড়িগঙ্গা Buŗigônga "Old Ganges") is a river in Bangladesh which flows past the southwest outskirts of the capital city, Dhaka. Its average depth is 7.6 metres (25 ft) and its maximum depth is 18 metres (58 ft). It ranks among the most polluted rivers in the country.[2][3]


View looking along the river Buriganga towards the city of Dhaka situated on the left bank. A Hindu temple tower stands at the water's edge (1885).

In the distant past, a course of the Ganges river used to reach the Bay of Bengal through the Dhaleshwari river. In the 20th century the water table and river became polluted by polythenes[clarification needed] and other hazardous substances from demolished buildings near the river banks.

The course of the Padma, as the main course of the Ganges is known in Bangladesh, changed considerably during the period 1600 to 2000 AD. It is difficult to trace accurately the various channels through which it flowed, but the probability is that it flowed past Rampur Boalia, through Chalan Beel, the Dhaleshwari and Buriganga rivers, past Dhaka into the Meghna estuary. In the 18th century, the lower course of the river flowed further south. About the middle of the 19th century the main volume of the channel flowed through this southern channel, which came to be known as Kirtinasa. Gradually the Padma adopted its present course.[4]

View of the Buriganga river at Sadarghat area with some launches.


The Buriganga is economically very important to Dhaka. Launches and country boats provide connection to other parts of Bangladesh, a largely riverine country. When the Mughals made Dhaka their capital in 1610, the banks of the Buriganga were already a prime location for trade. The river was also the city's main source of drinking water.

Today, the Buriganga river is afflicted by the noisome problem of pollution. The chemical waste of mills and factories, household waste, medical waste, sewage, dead animals, plastics, and oil are some of the Buriganga's pollutants. The city of Dhaka discharges about 4,500 tons of solid waste every day and most of it is released into the Buriganga.[citation needed] According to the Department of Environment, 21,600 cubic metres (5.7 million US gallons) of toxic waste are released into the river by the tanneries every day.[5][6][7] Experts identified nine industrial areas in and around the capital city as the primary sources of river pollution: Tongi, Tejgaon, Hazaribagh, Tarabo, Narayanganj, Savar, Gazipur, Dhaka Export Processing Zone and Ghorashal. Most of the industrial units of these areas have no sewage treatment or effluent treatment plants (ETPs) of their own.

View of Buriganga River from the bridge in Dhaka

More than 60,000 cubic metres (2,100,000 cu ft) of toxic waste, including textile dyeing, printing, washing and pharmaceuticals, are released into the main water bodies of Dhaka every day.[citation needed] According to the Dhaka Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA), about 12,000 cubic metres (420,000 cu ft) of untreated waste are released into the lake from Tejgaon, Badda and Mohakhali industrial areas every day. The waste mostly comes from garment washing and dyeing plants. Textile industries annually discharge as much as 56 million tonnes of waste and 0.5 million tonnes of sludge. Sewage is also released into the Buriganga. A newspaper article from 2004[8] indicated that up to 80% of Dhaka's sewage was untreated. Because of Dhaka's heavy reliance on river transport for goods, including food, the Buriganga receives especially high amounts of food waste since unusable or rotting portions of fruits, vegetables, and fish are thrown into the river.

Nearly 4.0 million people of the city are exposed to the consequences of water pollution every day.[citation needed]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Burigunga River". Burigunga Riverkeeper. Archived from the original on 28 August 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  2. ^ Majumder, Azad (19 May 2009). "Bangladesh river pollution threatens millions". Reuters. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  3. ^ "The river runs black: pollution from Bangladesh's tanneries – in pictures". the Guardian. 23 October 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  4. ^ Majumdar, Dr. R.C., History of Ancient Bengal, First published 1971, Reprint 2005, pp. 3–4, Tulshi Prakashani, Kolkata, ISBN 81-89118-01-3.
  5. ^ "Pollution control and tannery relocation". Leather International. Global Trade Media. 25 October 2002. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  6. ^ "Toxic Tanneries: The Health Repercussions of Bangladesh's Hazaribagh Leather". Human Rights Watch. 8 October 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  7. ^ Aulakh, Raveena (12 October 2013). "Bangladesh's tanneries make the sweatshops look good". Toronto Star. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  8. ^ "Dhaka's looming water crisis". The Financial Express (Editorial). Dhaka. Archived from the original on 10 March 2005.
  9. ^ Bain, Marc. "Fast fashion is causing an "environmental emergency"". Quartz. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  10. ^ Webber, Kathleen (22 March 2017). "How Fast Fashion Is Killing Rivers Worldwide". EcoWatch. Retrieved 9 January 2020.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 23°38′N 90°26′E / 23.633°N 90.433°E / 23.633; 90.433