Indiscriminate dumping of garbage has turned a large section of Dhaka-Barishal highway, between the main entrance of Faridpur Medical College Hospital (FMCH) and Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC), into a landfill.
For about a year, locals and nearby businesses including diagnostic centres, fruit venders, restaurants and roadside shops have been dumping garbage in the area as the municipality of Faridpur neither provides any garbage collection service to the roadside businesses nor has it set up any designated bin for locals in the area. Some locals even alleged that garbage from the FMCH is also disposed of there.
Many local residents said the accumulated heap of garbage in the area has been causing severe environmental pollution in the area and the municipality has to act fast to clean up the area for the sake of health safety of the townspeople.
They also said many people, especially shopkeepers and restaurant staffers, started throwing all sorts of trash in the particular stretch of the highway after a garbage bin beside the boundary of FMCH was removed by the Faridpur municipality at the request of FMCH authorities.
During a recent visit, this correspondent experienced unbearable foul odour emitting from the garbage heap in the area.
Zahiduzzaman Khan, a resident of Habiligopalpur area in Faridpur town, said, “Locals have been suffering immensely due to the stench coming out of the garbage dumped beside the important road.”
Kowsar Ahamad Munshi, executive engineer of irrigation department at BADC in Faridpur, said, “We have been facing serious difficulties as the garbage is being dumped right in front of our office.”
“Besides, the pile of garbage spreads all over the road during rain and when the garbage is burnt, emission of toxic smoke puts children in our staff quarters in harm’s way.”
“We requested the mayor of Faridpur municipality to build a dustbin in the area. He gave us his word, but no steps have been taken yet,” he also said.
BADC Accountant Monowar Hossain said, “We can’t open windows in our office due to the foul smell of garbage. This is polluting the environment and locals are contracting various diseases.”
Kamoda Prosad Saha, superintendent of FMCH, said, “We don’t throw garbage there. The owners and staffers of restaurants, food stores, and some diagnostic centres have been dumping garbage there. We keep our garbage on our campus and the municipality later collects it.”
Denying dumping any waste beside the highway, Mizanur Rahman, manager of a local business, Nur Diagnostic Lab, said they pay Society Development Committee Tk 2,000 each month to collect their waste.
Sweepers of FMCH dump waste there late at night, he claimed.
Lutfur Rahman, deputy director of Department of Environment in Faridpur, said, “It’s the responsibility of Faridpur municipality to remove the garbage. I do not understand why they don’t do this. I sent letters to the mayor to take steps [in this regard] several times.”
Faridpur municipality Mayor Sheikh Mahatab Ali said, “There was a large dustbin in front of FMCH, but we removed it from there after the hospital authorities complained to us.”
“The hospital authorities asked us to build another dustbin on the south side of FMCH. We will build it within a short time,” he added.