Action against air-polluting factory welcome
The Department of Environment which has often been at the receiving end of criticism from environment activists because of what the latter saw as non-fulfillment of the former's mandate, has now really done something to merit public appreciation. It has fined Baset Steel and Re-rolling Mills in Shyampur area in the capital a sum of Tk 10.28 lac for having released toxic fumes into the environment posing serious hazard to public health.
The location, 25 kms off the capital city, however, has had a number of such steel and re-rolling mills which have been spewing out carbon dioxide and carbon mono oxide for the better part of the day with complete impunity. It is just that Baset Steel and Re-rolling Mills has been made an example of having ignored the DoE instructions to install fume extraction device in its chimney. So, plenty of more work is to be done to make the whole lot of steel and re-rolling mills compliant of the standard pre-cautionary procedures.
Perhaps it would not be out of place here to recall this paper's plethora of reports on the woes suffered by the local residents, students and commuters due to belching of dangerous smoke, thanks to the mills that did not have environmental clearance.
For all practical purposes, what has been proceeded against, in rather mildly legal terms, is just the tip of the iceberg insofar as the existence of the air-polluting industries goes, let alone the surface polluting ones like the tannery factories. The brick kilns have been a major source of carbon emissions, although some of these have turned to environment friendly manufacturing processes.
It is good to see that the DoE has a monitoring and enforcement wing which is bringing a dynamic facet to the DoE's otherwise impassive image. We can see that it needs a huge injection of capacity building, which can be a shot in its arm.