Villagers and environmental lawyers urged the authorities to stop rampant underground water withdrawal by industries in Patiya upazila's Habilasdwip union in Chattogram.
They made the call from a human chain organised by Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA) in front of Habilasdwip Union Parishad today.
Taking part in the human chain, Advocate Mujibor Rahman Khan, network member of BELA, said that dozens of industries operating in the area have been withdrawing massive amounts of underground water -- causing the water table to recede in the area.
He said that around 40,000 people are now struggling to source water as they hardly get it from their tube wells.
"The industries could easily take water from the nearby canal and use it after treatment. But they don't do it. We went to High Court which issued directives to authorities to declare it a 'Water Scarce Area', and stop the industries from operating until they comply with environment conservation act," he said.
But no directive of HC was implemented by authorities, he added.
HM Manzur, president of a governing body of Charkanai Primary School, said that they were not against the industries. All they want is the industries to follow the law and ensure there's enough water for the locals.
Advocate Zia Uddin, Shafikul Islam and local authorities of Habilasdwip union were present in the programme.