Dhaka City, the capital of Bangladesh, is a megacity with a current population of about 15 million. It has been the principal urban center in Bangladesh (East Pakistan or East Bengal) since the 7th century CE. It became a municipality in 1864 and a corporation in 1978. The location of Dhaka in the center of Bangladesh, its historical prevalence as the administrative center of the region, the migration of rural people to Dhaka for jobs (particularly in the garment sector), growth of commerce and industries along with the population growth, and the recent real estate boom are among the important factors that have led to its growth. The adoption of embedded liberal policies since Bangladesh’s independence in 1971 and neoliberal policies later on, through a number of business and investment promotional agencies including Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority, has further contributed to the growth of the City (Hossain 2008). The city has expanded mainly towards the north. It is surrounded by the rivers Buriganga, Turag, Balu, 274Sitalakhya, and Tongi Khal (see Map 16.1), which make a circular waterway around the city and are the lifeline for its sustenance. They are an important source of water for the city-dwellers, provide navigation routes for cheap transportation of goods and passengers, and serve as recharge areas for the city groundwater aquifer and Location of the rivers surrounding Dhaka City https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315734187/672c4f38-7ddc-4b5e-9012-528a6fd49dea/content/map16_1.jpg"/> Source: Prepared by the authors. 275as natural assimilator of pollution and carriers of drainage water. However, due to physical encroachment on the rivers by land developers, lease holders, private individuals, government agencies (and the like), the rivers are gradually shrinking in width, as well as constantly are being polluted by the outflow of sewage from the well-established industrial clusters. The main polluters are industries such as tanneries, textiles, dyeing, printing, washing, and pharmaceuticals. Increasing filth and human waste have turned the water into a black gel; it is so polluted that people do not wish to touch it. Rowing across some stretches is also difficult because of the terrible stink.