Wastes threaten Sundarbans
Massive waste disposal from industrial units in Khulna and Barisal divisions has threatened the environment, particularly the bio-diversity of the Sundarbans.
According to Department of Environment (DOE), there are over 700 heavy, medium and small industries in the two divisions and they are steadily polluting the environment by dumping their wastes in an unplanned way.
Fifteen heavy industries, including Khulna Newsprint Mills (KNM), Khulna Hardboard Mills (KHM), Goalpara Power Plant, Khulna Power Company Ltd (KPCL) and tanneries, sugar mills, cement factories and brick fields are posing threat to public health as there is no arrangement for systematic disposal of wastes.
Huge carbon dioxide and wood dusts along with a sulfur dioxide from the Khulna Newsprint Mills pollute the air as well as the water of the Bhairab river everyday.
Tanneries and Khulna Hardboard Mills are blamed for discharging chemicals into the river, contaminating its water. Allegations are also there against KPCL for contaminating the water of the river.
The sources said fish resources and other aquatic species in the Bhairab and Rupsa rivers are rapidly disappearing due to the deteriorating environment.
Goalpara Power Plant and KPCL, located in the densely populated Khalishpur area, are largely blamed for sound pollution.
Meanwhile, local people, led by an elected commissioner, recently demonstrated against the sound pollution by the two power plants. But their protest went unheeded.
Sugar mills dump wastes in open places spreading bad odour while cement factories send dusts into air as they have no dust control system.
On the other hand, brick field owners are burning timbers violating the government rules.
Jute mills, textile mills, hotels, restaurants and welding factories are also responsible for polluting the environment and thus endangering the public health.
DOE has so far filed 20 cases against hotel and restaurant owners, and realised a small amount of fine from them. But it has done little against the big shots.