Department of Environment yesterday sealed off a paper mill in Chattogram’s Khulshi area on charge of polluting the Halda, possibly the only breeding ground of natural Carp in South Asia.
The authorities came up with the closure order after hearing a complaint filed by Ruhul Amin, upazila nirbahi officer of Hathazari.
Ruhul, along with some locals, filed the complaint on August 14 accusing Asian Paper Mill of releasing untreated substances into a waterbody that connects to the Halda.
A team of DoE, led by Nurullah Nuri, director of Chattogram DoE Lab, conducted a probe into the allegation and found authenticity.
Muktadir Hasan, assistant director of Chattogram DoE, said, they found proof of Asian Paper Mill’s involvement in polluting waterbodies.
He said, “Analysing samples, we found proof that sludge produced by the mill polluted water at a dangerous level.”
“This prompted the authorities to seal off the factory until it establishes a fully functional ETP [effluent treatment plant] and takes steps to remove sludge in an environment-friendly way.”
Mohammed Shafiul Alam, chief engineer of Asian Paper Mill, said they would comply with the instructions of DoE.
He said, “The sludge produced by our factory spill over and get into a pond because of heavy rain. We are constructing a concrete reservoir to avoid this.”