Shut down all polluters | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 09, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:07 AM, December 09, 2019

Shut down all polluters

HC asks govt as DoE identifies 52 illegal washing plants on Buriganga shore

The High Court yesterday ordered the Department of Environment (DoE) to shut down all illegal industries, factories, and organisations on the Buriganga that are polluting the river. 

During the hearing of a writ petition, the HC also directed it to submit a complete report by January 8 after complying with the order.

At the same time, the court ordered the Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) to properly implement its undertaking about sealing off drains and sewerage lines connected to the river and to submit the first progress report by January 8. 

Earlier in the day, the DoE submitted a report that said 52 fabric washing plants without any environmental clearance certificate (ECC) and effluent treatment plant (ETP) were illegally operating on the south shore of the river, polluting its water and the environment. 

Besides, some factories and organisations which have no ECC and ETP were running their operations on the north shore of Buriganga in Dhaka metropolitan area. An inquiry is going on in this regard, the DoE said in the report submitted to the HC as per its earlier order. 

In the compliance report, the DoE mentioned that it closed 27 such factories and industries in 2017, and 18 factories and industries this year as they were polluting the river.

Going through the report, the HC bench of Justice Gobinda Chandra Tagore and Justice Mohammad Ullah passed the order for stopping operations of the illegal industries, factories, and other organisations on both shores of the Buriganga and sought the complete compliance report from the DoE.

Meanwhile, the Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) yesterday submitted an undertaking to the HC that said it would seal off all its drains and sewerage lines connected to the Buriganga and would file a progress report every month.

At that time, Dhaka Wasa Managing Director Taqsem A Khan unconditionally apologised to the HC bench for making an untrue statement about sewerage lines linked to the river. 

He submitted a report before the HC on December 2, saying that there were 67 underground drains and sewerage lines connected to the Buriganga. But in an earlier report submitted on June 18 this year, he said no such lines were there.  

The HC bench said this court would accept the Wasa MD’s apology and exonerate him from the case proceedings after six months if the Wasa implemented its undertaking accordingly.

The apology petition will be kept in the case record until further order, the HC bench said.

During the proceedings on the petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB) in 2010, the HC bench yesterday said if the Wasa and DoE were sincere and worked by forming separate teams, they could stop dumping of liquid waste into the Buriganga within a few days.

The court directed the authorities to seal off all sewerage disposal lines in 2011, but it had to pass further order to implement its 2011 directive, the bench said.    

The HC bench said Dhaka has become the most polluted city in the world. 

“How will people breathe if the situation is not improved?” it said. 

Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) recently submitted a compliance report to the HC bench stating that 68 underground drains and sewerage lines were linked to the Buriganga.

On December 3, the HC bench observed that the Dhaka Wasa was responsible for controlling the 68 underground drains and sewerage lines, and Dhaka city corporations were responsible for the surface pipelines.

It also ordered the BIWTA to identify whether there were any waste disposal lines connected to the shores of the Buriganga in Dhaka, apart from the underground drains and sewerage lines, and to seal them off by January 7.

Aklas Uddin Bhuiyan and Ripan Barai stood for HRPB.    

The owners and addresses of the 52 illegal washing plants identified by the DoE are: Md Mubarak Hossain, Achia Washing Plant, Jinzira Bus Stand, Keraniganj, Dhaka; Md Rafique, Al-Amin Washing, Bashpatty, Aganagar, Keraniganj; Taki Ullah, Dhaka Washing, Chunkutia, Keraniganj; Belal Hossain, Azan Washing, Kaliganj, Keraniganj; Md Khalilur Rahman, Five Star Washing, Kaliganj, Keraniganj; Md Baser, Shonali Washing, Kaliganj, Keraniganj; Md Delwar Hossain, New Sahara Washing, Kaliganj, Keraniganj; Md Kamrul, Mayer Dua Washing, Chunkutia, Hizla, Keraniganj; Md Amir Hossain, Parjoar Washing, Bashpatti, Keraniganj; Md Rasel, Unique Washing, Jinzira, Keraniganj; Md Mujibur Rahman, Megha Washing, Aganagar, Keraniganj; Md Kopil Uddin, Tintara Washing, Kaliganj, Keraniganj; Md Munna, Sayma Washing, Aganagar, Barek Road, Keraniganj; Md Amir Hamza, Moynamou Washing, Kaliganj Bazar Road, Keraniganj; Md Sultan Shikdar, Setu Washing, Kaliganj Bazar Road, Keraniganj; Md Riad, Jilani Washing Plant, Char Kaliganj, Keraniganj; Md Ramjan Hossain, Rajdhani Washing Plant, Kaliganj, Keraniganj; Md Zakir, Hawladar Washing Plant, Char Kaliganj, Keraniganj; Kazi Abu Sohel, Tamanna Washing Plant, Char Kaliganj, Keraniganj; Md Uzzal, New Madina Washing, Char Kaliganj, Keraniganj; Md Delwar Hossain, Al Madina Washing, Char Kaliganj, Keraniganj; Md Rafique, Bismillah Washing, Aganagar, Keraniganj; Md Amirul Islam, Water Colour Washing, Bashpatti, Aganagar, Kaliganj, Keraniganj; Fazlu Khalashi, Dohar Washing, Jinzira, Keraniganj; Madul Hazi, Bismillah Washing, Aganagar, Keraniganj; Md Jahangir Hossain, Shraboni Washing, Beribadh, Aganagar, Keraniganj; Md Abul Bashar, Insuf Washing, Ambagicha, Keraniganj; Md Ibrahim, Sunmoon Washing, Hazi Abdul Barek Road, Keraniganj; Md Shami Ullah, New Nasha Washing, Jhawbari, Chunkutia, Kaliganj, Keraniganj; Md Anwar, Aysha Washing, Chunkutia, Keraniganj; Md Mujibur Rahman, Mayer Dua Washing, Hijoltola, Chunkutia, Keraniganj; Md Abdur Rouf Chanchal, Chanchal Washing, Chunkutia, Keraniganj; Md Nur Alam, Lotus Washing, Chunkutia, Keraniganj; a washing factory owned by Md Salek in Keraniganj; Md Babu, Global Washing, Abdul Barek Road, Keraniganj; Md Masud, Royal Washing, Hasnabad, Keraniganj; Md Ahmed, Ahmed Washing, Abdul Barek Road, Aganagar, Keraniganj; Md Hossain, Relative Washing, Chunkutia, Keraniganj; Md Emam, Ma-Babar Dua Washing, Kaliganj, Keraniganj; Suman Talukdar, Lily Washing, Jinjira, Keraniganj; Md Joni, Jhorna Washing, Mohuripatti, Keraniganj; Md Sohel, BLT Washing, Keraniganj; Nat Mia, City Washing, Pargenderia, Keraniganj; Md Mamun, Greenland Washing, Doleshawar, Keraniganj; Md Sohag, Four Star Washing, Keraniganj; Md Rasel, Bikrampur Washing, Kochi Saha Road, Aganagar, Keraniganj; Md Jewel, SB Washing, Aminbazar, Keraniganj; Md Titu, ATM Washing, Pargendaria, Keraniganj; Md Badiuzzaman, Sifat Washing, Chunkutia, Keraniganj; Zillur Rahman, Quality Washing, Jinzira, Keraniganj; Md Jamal, Allah Rasul Washing, Aminbazar, Mohuripatti, Keraniganj; and Md Monir, Asif Washing, Chunkutia, Keraniganj.

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