Both the Dhaleshwari and Buriganga rivers are at risk of a heavier pollution during this Eid-ul-Azha as the Central Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) installed at Savar Tannery Industrial Estate is incapable of treating all effluent at the estate.
Speakers at a press conference jointly organised by Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (Bapa) and Buriganga Riverkeeper made the speculation yesterday in the capital.
Syed Abul Maksud, vice president of Bapa, said the effluent discharged from the relocated tanneries in Savar will pollute the Dhaleshwari and it will eventually pollute the Buriganga that is connected with it downstream.
The purpose of the relocation of tanneries from Hazaribagh to Savar was to save the Buriganga from pollution. But the failure to implement the CETP project at the Savar estate before the upcoming Eid -- when a larger volume of effluents will be discharged from the tanneries -- defeats that purpose, he said.
“The objective of relocation [of the tanneries from Hazaribagh] could not be met” due to poor performance of the government and noncooperation of tannery owners, said Maksud alleging that around 100 tanneries are still operating illegally in Hazaribagh area with illegal power connections.
The CETP at Savar has only two operational modules with effluent treatment capacity of only 25 thousand cubic metres per day, but the tanneries there will produce a far larger volume of effluent during this Eid, said Sharif Jamil, member of Buriganga Riverkeeper.
Currently 70 tanneries there produce 12 to 15 thousand cubic metres of effluent per day, and these factories will exceed the treatment capacity of the CETP as their production will peak during the Eid holidays, he added.
Moreover, the CETP does not properly treat the effluent as the liquid it discharges into the Dhaleshwari is pitch black in colour and has revolting smell, he also observed.