The High Court yesterday directed the Department of Environment (DoE) to take appropriate legal action against 30 washing plants in Keraniganj for polluting the Buriganga.
The court also directed the DoE to submit a report before it within seven days after complying with the directive.
Meanwhile, the court issued a rule asking the authorities to explain why contempt of court proceedings should not be brought against them for giving further gas and electricity connections to the companies polluting Buriganga despite its prohibition order.
The managing director of Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd (TGTDCL) and chairman of Rural Electrification Board (REB) were respondents to the rule and two weeks were given to them for an explanation.
The HC bench of Justice Gobinda Chandra Tagore and Justice Mohammad Ullah passed the order while hearing a writ petition filed by the rights organisation Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB).
In May 2010, HRPB filed the petition seeking necessary directives to save the Buriganga from pollution.
During the hearing, petitioner's lawyer Manzill Murshid told the HC bench that this court on January 3 this year ordered the DoE to lodge separate cases against 30 washing plants in Keraniganj area in 30 days.
The DoE, however, has filed three cases with Keraniganj Police Station against only three companies -- Bismillah, Ahmed and Sun Moon washing plants -- under the Environment Preservation Act, 1995.
The DoE has not taken any steps to arrest the owners of the three companies although their offence is cognizable, he said.
Citing a DoE compliance report, Manzill Murshid said TGTDCL and REB had disconnected the supply of gas and electricity to the companies polluting the Buriganga in line with the earlier HC directive.
But, they have given further connection of gas and electricity supply to the companies in violation of the HC directive, he said.
Lawyer Manzill Murshid prayed to the HC bench to issue a contempt of court rule against the MD of TGCL and chairman of REB.
The 30 factories are Ahmed Hossain, Amena, Sun Moon, Eden, Bismillah, Lotus, Global, Rubel, Anushka, Sotota, Chanchal, Abdur Rob, Dhaka, Ajan, New Sahara, Dohar, Relative, New Nasha, Unique, Mow, Setu, Quality, Joena, Kalam, Water Colour, Par Joar, GM, Cumilla, Achhia, and Lily water plants.
The HC also had ordered the authorities concerned of the government to stop dumping waste into the Buriganga.
The authorities concerned and the local representatives have been directed to monitor the situation so that no one could dump waste into the Buriganga and to take appropriate legal action if any individual or organisation pollutes its water and environment.
Lawyer Amatul Karim Swapna appeared for DoE during the virtual hearing of the petition.