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Essay on Buriganga River in Bangladesh

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Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, well known as the city of fine muslin, mosques, and rickshaws has a fairly long history of evolution. Before it rose into prominence as the Mughal capital of Bengal in the 17th century and urban & commercial center, it was under the Sultanates from the 14 century. It came under British control in 1757. Dhaka with the passage of time testifies different faces of history. Photographs and digital archives are the most effective ways that can keep visual records of its colorful history.

The Buriganga River is the main river flowing beside Dhaka city, the capital of Bangladesh. The average depth is 25 feet and the maximum depth is 58 feet.

Buriganga River a tide-influenced river passing through west and south of Dhaka City. There is a traditional story behind naming it. In ancient times one course of the Ganges used to reach the Bay of Bengal through Dhaleshwari. This course gradually shifted and ultimately lost its link with the main channel of the Ganges and was renamed the Buriganga. The water levels during high and low tides in this river astonished the Mughals.

In the distant past, a course of the Ganges river used to reach the Bay of Bengal through the Dhaleshwari river. This course gradually shifted and ultimately lost its link with the main channel of the Ganges and was renamed the Buriganga. It is said that the water levels during high and low tides in this river astonished the Mughals. The water tables even are very astonishing due to the pollution of polythenes deposited beneath the water. The materials from the breaking of buildings of the river banks also add hazardous substances to the river.

The course of the Padma has changed considerably during the period 1600 to 2000 AD. It is difficult to trace accurately the various channels through which it has flowed. 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.

The Buriganga originated from the Dhaleshwari near Kalita. Its average width and depth are 400m and 10m respectively. This river is only 27 km long. The track has joined the Buriganga at Kamrangirchar of Dhaka City. In fact, the main flow of the Buriganga comes from the Turag. It meets with the Dhaleshwari at Munshiganj. The present head of the Buriganga near Chhaglakandi has silted up and opens only during floods, but the lower part is still open throughout the year. The downstream junction with the Dhaleshwari fluctuates from time to time according to changes in the position of the latter river; at present, it lies about 3.22 km southwest of Fatullah. Its course by Dhaka is stable, fixed by the resistant clays marking the southern edge of the Madhapur tract.

The Buriganga is economically very important to Dhaka. Launches and Country Boats provide a connection to the other parts of Bangladesh, a largely riverine country. In 2001, a second bridge over the river was built at Babubazar for vehicles and pedestrians.

Water pollution in the River Buriganga is at its highest. The most significant source of pollution appears to be from tanneries in the Hazaribagh area. In the dry season, the dissolved oxygen level becomes very low or non-existent and the river becomes toxic.

Unfortunately, the river is Dhaka‘s main outlet of sewage waste. Newspaper articles in 2004 indicated that up to 80% of Dhaka‘s sewage was untreated. A number of industries, including tanneries also discharge their chemical waste into the river.

Waterflow in the Buriganga is low except during the monsoon season. During this flood period, the river is “flushed” every year.

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