BELA’s Notice Against Two Secretaries of Bangladesh: Contaminated Liquid Waste Falling into the Canals
Contaminated waste from a factory located in Shahpur area of Madhabpur Upazila of Habiganj is falling into the canal. The Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA) has sent legal notices to 11 people, including two secretaries of the Ministry of Industry and Environment, Forests and Climate Change, citing environmental pollution and damage to agricultural land and livestock.
Shah Shaheda, the coordinator of BELA, Sylhet, told the Prothom Alo that the locals had sought BELA’s cooperation in the matter. In this context, BELA’s delegation visited the spot and found the allegations to be true.
Later, BELA’s lawyer Saeed Ahmed Kabir sent the notice to 11 people by registered post on Wednesday. All concerned have asked to respond within seven days of sending the notice.
Otherwise, in the interest of protecting the environmental rights and public health of the locals, BELA will take legal action against everyone.
In addition to the two secretaries of the Ministry of Industry and Ministry of Forest and Climate Change, Director General of the Department of Environment, Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police of Habiganj, Director of the Department of Environment (Monitoring and Enforcement), Director of Sylhet Divisional Office of the Department of Environment, Madhabpur Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO), Madhabpur Upazila Parishad Chairman, Officer-in-Charge of Madhabpur Police Station (OC) and the proprietor of the accused organization Messrs Mar Limited, Rasil Haque: The notices sent to a total of 11 people.
According to the notice, a company called Mar Limited has been operating a factory in Shahpur area for a long time. The factory has been producing dry starch powder.
As a result of the activities of the factory, a lot of liquid waste is being generated. But without any treatment, these wastes are falling into the nearby Ektiarpur canal.
Residents of Shramitpur, Daspara, Chhatain North, Chhatain South, Sakuchail, Piyam, Shimulghar villages of the local Chhatian Union are suffering at this. The agricultural land and cattle of the area are severely damaged.
BELA’s notice further mentions that the locals did not find a solution to this unbearable pollution even after holding various protests.
In this situation, the concerned people of the government were urged to stop the production activities by disconnecting all the government services including electricity, gas and water of the factory.
Besides, it was also demanded that the concerned government agencies should play a role in assessing the damage to the environment, canals, agricultural lands and livestock of the area.
In this regard, Habiganj Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Kamrul Hasan told the Prothom Alo that the factory is causing extreme damage to the environment. So, the factory was shut down three months ago following complaints from locals.
Even after this, whether the owner has re-opened the factory without the knowledge of the administration will be investigated. The activities of any factory are harmful to the environment will not allow being conducted in any way in the district.