Despite Closing, the tannery industry at Savar, Dhaka, continues to operate
Despite closing, the tannery industries at Savar, Dhaka, Bangladesh, continue to operate. In the parliamentary committee of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Bangladesh, in its last meeting, all the members recommended disconnecting the electricity in the tannery.
The parliamentary committee claims that the committee has not retreated from its strict stance. However, the MoEFCC may be embarrassed to retaliate against another government ministry.
Saber Hossain Chowdhury, President of the committee, gave this information after the standing committee meeting related to the MoEFCC.
Meanwhile, the Department of Environment, Bangladesh, tested the water of the Dhaleshwari River in the tannery industrial area and reported to the parliamentary committee about the existence of excess metal chromium and lack of oxygen necessary for aquatic animals and fish.
The chairperson of the committee said in this regard, generally, for the usefulness of living aquatic animals, including fish, there should be 200 mg of oxygen per liter in the water.
However, the Dhaleshwar river has two to a half times less oxygen than that. In contrast, the tolerable level of the metal chromium, harmful to aquatic life and biodiversity, is two milligrams per liter.
Nevertheless, that river has 5 to 7 mg. As a result, the Dhaleswari River has become very dangerous for aquatic life, including fish.
He further said that the Ministry of Industry promised to increase oxygen levels and reduce chromium in the next three to six months. We have said that in case of failure, we will not allow the units responsible for this to continue. If necessary, the power will turn off.
When asked Saber Hossain, the Parliament Committee member, “You have recommended the closure of the tannery in the past; why was it not implemented? Now talking about power cut, does that mean you backed down from the recommendation?” Saber Hossain said, “We are still in a challenging position.
However, we understand the ministry’s position a bit; maybe they are embarrassed to tell another ministry. Our laws must apply equally to all. It is not ethical to take action only against individuals.
We will take charge of the government as well if found guilty. Though they want to defend their acts by saying, it is an industry; employment-foreign exchange depends on it. However, public health, the environment, and biodiversity are also important.
“We had told the Ministry of Industry for two years in this context. We have made 5-6 recommendations on what measures to take. However, none of it has been implemented.
They are just saying, will, and will do in the future. We will no longer wait for such excuses. Now we are going to a final position, and they must follow,” Saber Hossain added.
Meanwhile, the press release of the Parliament Secretariat informed that, in the meeting, the provision of monetary penalty and imprisonment would be adequate for the person or organization who pollutes the air caused by brick kilns.
Besides, the relevant officials of the Ministry of Planning should invite to the next meeting to receive opinions on the mandatory use of block bricks in the construction of all government infrastructures by 2025.