No ETPs in 300 factories
Some 300 factories in the three designated industrial areas in the capital and Gazipur have long been running without effluent treatment plants (ETPs), causing serious environmental pollution.
The three areas -- Hazaribagh Tannery area, Shyampur-Kadamtoli Industrial area in the capital and Tongi BSCIC industrial area -- could not be brought under the Department of Environment (DoE) regulation for various problems, including unavailability of land for constructing central effluent treatment plants (CETP), said the DoE sources.
The problems also include lack of funds and nighttime closure of ETPs.
According to the DoE, there are nearly 200 factories in Hazaribagh, 46 in Shyampur-Kadamtoli area and 42 factories in Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) area, Tongi.
These factories discharge untreated chemical waste into water bodies, polluting the canals and rivers.
DoE Director (Monitoring and Enforcement) Md Alamgir told the news agency that DoE teams will conduct drives soon in the areas, especially in Tongi to take action against the factories.
The DoE director, however, said most of the factories in other parts of the country have already set up ETPs but many factories do not use ETPs at nighttime, an emerging new problem.
The DoE cannot force the factories at Hazaribagh to use ETPs as the tanneries could not be shifted to Savar over a decade after the industries ministry undertook a project in 2003.
According to a recent report of Poribesh Bachao Andolon (Poba), about 21,000 cubic metres of untreated toxic waste is released every day from the Hazaribagh tanneries into the Buriganga River.
Poba Chairman Abu Naser Khan told the news agency that the progress of the relocation project is very slow.