Rivers should be brought under integrated management maintaining proper navigability as they are the supporting force for development, said State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury.
Rivers are the main driving force of the economy as they give motion to the international trade, he added while addressing a floating meeting titled "Rivers are also freedom fighters", organised by river safety organisation Nongor, in collaboration with Three Angle Engineers Limited, River Protection Alliance and River Justice.
The event was organised on a ship on the River Buriganga on Thursday marking the 50th anniversary of the country's independence.
"All concerned should be vigilant so that illegal occupiers and anti-independence activists cannot fulfill their agenda in the name of river protection," he said, adding rivers are a part of life and if we can keep rivers flowing and navigable, we will definitely win.
He said, "Bangabandhu felt the need for protecting rivers in 1972. So, he collected seven dredgers to dig waterways."
"We have procured 34 dredgers and procurement of 35 more is underway. The government has also adopted a master plan to excavate 10,000km of waterways."
He urged all to protect the rivers as those were the supporting force of our liberation.