Environment Pollution: Victims should be compensated
A parliamentary watchdog yesterday recommended giving compensation to victims of environment pollution from fines collected from polluters.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Environment, Forest 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 said fines collected from environment polluters go to the government exchequer. If that money is spent on compensating the victims, they will be benefited.
Emerging from the meeting, Saber said: "The Department of Environment is always taking action against polluters. Fines are also being collected from them. But nothing is being done for the victims of pollution."
For example, he said if a factory pollutes a river, fines are collected from the polluter. But many people are getting various diseases, including skin diseases, using the water of that polluted river.
The committee thinks that it would be better if the medical expenses of those victims could be covered from the fines, Saber, chairman of the parliamentary body, said.
He said the ministry agreed in principle with the committee's recommendation.
According to media reports, the DoE has imposed fines of Tk 385 crore on polluters in the last 10 years.
POLLUTION FROM TANNERY ESTATE
Yesterday, the parliamentary body again discussed the closure of the tannery estate in Savar.
Earlier on August 23, the committee had recommended shutting the Savar Tannery Industrial Estate as it does not have adequate facilities to treat all liquid waste generated by the tanners there.
Following the committee's recommendation, the DoE issued a show cause notice to Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) asking it to explain why the tannery estate would not be shut.
Saber yesterday said the ministry was working to implement the parliamentary body's recommendations.
"The BSCIC wants to say that they will take action in this regard occasionally. But we have told them that the tannery estate needs to be shut now as it is causing serious environment pollution," he said.