JS body suggests compensation for victims of environmental pollution
A parliamentary body today recommended giving compensation to victims of pollution from the fines collected from those responsible.
The parliamentary standing committee on the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change came up with the recommendation at a meeting at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban with Awami League MP Saber Hossain Chowdhury in the chair.
The committee in its recommendation said that the fines realised from the environment polluters go to the government exchequer. If that money is spent on compensating the victims of environmental pollution, the victims will be benefited.
Emerging from the meeting, Saber Hossain Chowdhury, chairman of the parliamentary watchdog, said, "The Department of Environment is always taking action against polluters. Fines are also being collected from them. But nothing is being done for those who are the victims of pollution."
For example, he said, if a factory pollutes a river, we are collecting fines from the polluters. But using the water of that polluted river, many people are getting various diseases.
The committee thinks that it would be better if the medical expenses of these victims could be covered from the fines, Saber also said.
Saber Hossain said the ministry had agreed in principle with the parliamentary committee's recommendation.
According to media reports, the Department of Environment has imposed fines of Tk 385 crore in the last 10 years.
The parliamentary body today also again discussed the closure of the tannery industry in Savar.
Earlier on August 23, the parliamentary standing committee recommended to close down the Savar Tannery Industrial Estate because the estate does not have adequate facilities to treat all liquid waste generated by the tanners it houses.
Saber Hossain today said, the ministry is working to implement the recommendations of the parliamentary body.
"BSCIC wants to say that they will take action in this regard time to time. But we have told them that the tannery industry needs to shut down at this moment as it is causing severe environment pollution," Saber said.