Bangladesh Poribesh Andolan (Bapa) has called for taking steps to protect all rivers from encroachment and pollution.
The organisation made the demand at a human chain and citizens' rally titled 'Pollution free Balu, Narai, Devdholai and Shitalakkhya rivers' near Gudaraghat Bridge at Khilgaon in the capital on Friday.
On the occasion of World Environment Day-2022, Bapa, Barogram Development Organisation, Waterkeepers Bangladesh and Barogram-Balu Nadi Morcha jointly organised the programme.
Sharif Jamil, general secretary of Bapa, said though they started a movement in Barogram 20 years ago to stop pollution of the river, still the residents of Barogram were dealing with the same problems of the pollution.
"The villagers still have to live with the diseases caused by the pollution. Daserkandi treatment plant has not yet started operation," he added.
Rasheda K Chowdhury, vice-president of Bapa and former adviser to a caretaker government, said there were laws for protecting rivers and the environment.
Strict implementation of the laws was necessary to prevent pollution of rivers and canals, she said.
Suruj Mia, president of Barogram Development Organisation, presided over the human chain and the rally.