Halt dumping of toxic wastes into Buriganga
Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon (Bapa) yesterday demanded immediate steps to halt dumping of industrial toxic wastes as well as those of Dhaka Wasa and Dhaka City Corporation in the Buriganga, the lifeline of Dhaka.
Bapa leaders placed the demands at a human chain programme and a rally in front of the National Museum in the city, says a press release.
Different organisations, including World Peace Union, Adviser Welfare Organisation, Hunger Project, Green Voice, Bangladesh Adivasi Forum, Bangladesh Adivasi Chhatra Sangram Parishad and Bangladesh Khashi Students' Union, expressed their solidarity with the leaders.
Speakers at the rally said all the rivers surrounding Dhaka are being occupied illegally day by day. Industry, residence, brick kilns and other structures are being made grabbing rivers illegally, but the government seems indifferent in this regard.
A recent government report said there are over 4,000 illegal structures only on the Buriganga, only half of these were dismantled, the release added.
The report said around 7,000 industries on the Buriganga, Sitalakkha, Balu and Turag rivers dropped the toxic wastes continuously, while another report mentioned that 60 percent wastes dumped in the rivers are from industries on the river banks and 30 percent from Wasa and DCC.
The speakers said wastes of tannery and fertiliser industries and domestic garbage are also being dropped in the rivers which are awfully contaminating the environment, adding that most of the industries have no effluent treatment plants (ETPs) to refine the wastes.
Though the government is repeatedly warning the industry owners to establish ETPs in their respective industrial units, they are not paying heed to the matter, they added.
They also demanded steps to recover the grabbed lands of the rivers, evict all the brick kilns and other illegal structures, including demarcation of rivers and execution the task force to save the Buriganga.
Meanwhile, Bapa held a meeting at the Central Public Library in the city on Friday and expressed concern over the environmental degradation of Tangail as most of the canals and rivers of the district are being grabbed for housing and business establishments.
Scarcity of sewerage and water supply systems, including lack of effluent treatment plants in the hospitals and clinics, degrades the environment.
They also placed some recommendations, including saving the Jamuna and Louhajang rivers, recovery of grabbed canals and its re-excavation, controlling air pollution, stopping unplanned urbanisation, protecting Shalban Bihar and ensuring sewerage and water system.