Bongaon is an important region bordering Bangladesh and West Bengal,India from where numerous rivers weave in and out of both the countries.People living on the banks of these rivers heavily depend on these rivers for fisheries,transportation and habitat. However, in the recent years, illegal encroachment,pollutants into the river and lack of investments to dredge these rivers have caused a serious threat to both the ecology and habitat of millions of people. ICHAMATI river is one such important river, vital to both these regions and needs immediate investments and attention.The money collected from this campaign shall be used to clean up connecting canals and small arteries that may revive the dried up or polluted river lengths and throw back opportunity to the local opportunity to thrive.
Ichamati River is a trans-boundary river that flows through India and also Bangladesh. It acts as a boundary between the two nations.The river is having trouble with siltation that leads to slender flow of water in the dry season and floods in the rainy season.Ichamati River is now in three parts -
i. The longer part flows from the Mathabhanga River, a distributary of the Padma, and after flowing for 208 km joins the Kalindi River near Hasnabad in North 24 Parganas and Debhata in Satkhira District.
ii. Once the main river west of Dhaka and
iii. Ichamati of Dinajpur. Rennel's map of 1764-66, shows the last two rivers as one. According to a number of hydrologists, the three Ichamati
Rivers, in the past, were a single channel. Mathabhanga River begins from right bank of Padma at Munshiganj in Kushtia District in Bangladesh. It splits near Majidia in Nadia District in India,creating two rivers, Ichamati and Churni. Ichamati enters Bangladesh near Mubarakpur,after negotiating length of 19.5 km in India.The river flows 35.5 km in Bangladesh and then enters India at Duttaphulia in Nadia District.The river forms the border for Indian and Bangladesh.
While the bed of the Ichamati River is 14 feet higher than that of the Mathabhanga, that of the Churni is lower than Mathabhanga by six inches. During dry phase the level of water in the Mathabhanga is higher than that of the Padma. Due to this, during dry spells, no water enters the Ichamati. The river faces acute problem of industrial pollution and forcible occupation of land by people. Striking environmental hazards resulting from encroachment,sanitation facilities, groundwater pollution like arsenic problem, destruction of aquatic flower, fauna are some of the burning issues of the area that needs to be taken care of trough participatory mechanism. Ichhamati River and its tributaries form a large oxbow lake complex in North 24-Paraganas district near Bangaon.The agricultural chemical fertilizers and weed in particularly with water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) is a major concern because it is covering the surface of lake waters.