The High Court yesterday directed the Department of Environment (DoE) to shut 25 factories and two private hospitals on the bank of the Buriganga River in Dhaka as they are operating without environment clearance certificates.
DoE was given 15 days to execute the order.
At the same time, the court asked the managing director of Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) to explain in 15 days why legal action should not be taken against him for making a false statement about sewerage lines connected to the river.
The bench of Justice Gobinda Chandra Tagore and Justice Mohammad Ullah issued the order and the show cause notice while hearing a writ petition.
Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB), a rights group, filed the petition on May 4, 2010, seeking immediate steps to prevent water pollution in the Buriganga.
The petitioner’s lawyer, Advocate Manzill Murshid, told The Daily Star yesterday that the HC earlier had sought reports from DoE, Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), and Wasa MD about the structures on the river bank, which do not have environment clearance certificates and legal sewerage and Wasa lines.
Following the earlier order, DoE recently submitted a report to the HC, saying there are 27 factories and private hospitals without environmental clearance certificates. The structures are located in Shyampur and Kadamtali areas.
Wasa MD Taqsem A Khan also submitted a report recently, saying there are no sewerage lines connected to the Buriganga and there is no pollution. But BIWTA in a report said there are several sewerage lines connected to the river, which cause pollution.
After going through the reports, the HC yesterday passed the order and fixed December 2 for giving a further order on the issue, Advocate Manzill said.
Following the same writ petition, the HC on June 1, 2011 had directed the government to seal all sewerage linesto the Buriganga within the next year.
The court had also directed the authorities concerned to stop dumping waste into the river and declared their inaction in preventing water pollution illegal. The authorities were directed to clean up the river and move all sources of pollution from there.
HRPB had filed the petition on May 4, 2010 with the HC seeking an order based on a report published in The Daily Star on April 25 the same year under the headline, “Untreated waste dumped into Buriganga”.
The factories and hospitals are Chandni Textile Mills; TPI Textile Processing Industries Ltd; Nurani Textile Mills Ltd; A Majid and Sons Dyeing; Kadamtali Dyeing and Printing; Khadija Textile Processing and Printing Industries Ltd; Agrani Dyeing and Printing; Subarna Dyeing and Printing; Masud Textile; Sonia Dyeing and Printing; Jedda Dyeing; Aziz Metal; Alif Metal; Agrani Molding; Annex Corporation/Orbit Metal Industries; Siba Textile Processing Ltd; Malina Textile Mills Lt; Khan Redimix; Sams Dyeing; Matlab Iron; SS Electroplating Works; Mohammadia Pipe; Perfect Ware; MZ Dyeing; Rafsan Dyeing; Medicare Diagnostic and Hospital; and River Side Hospital Ltd.