The Water and Environment of the Six Rivers of Savar are Endangered due to the Tannery Waste Pollution
By Zeba Tarannum
The water of 6 rivers in Savar has polluted by tannery waste. The Bongshi, the Dhaleshwari, the Kaliganga, the Buriganga, the Turag, and the Balu rivers in Saver are polluting due to Harindhara Leather Industrial Park of Hemayetpur.
Among those, the water of the Bongshi and the Dhaleshwari is the most polluted. As these two rivers connect with four other rivers, they are also polluting. This has endangered the environment.
The bad smell is spreading from the water of these rivers. There are almost no fish. The existence of aquatic plants also endanger. The livelihood of riverine low-income people disrupted. People are suffering from skin diseases and respiratory problems through the use of contaminated water.
Surrounding residents are tough to survive. M Shamsul Haque, General Secretary of Savar River and Environment Development Council said, the water of six rivers is being polluted due to lack of supervision by the government respective officials and also necessary Effluent Treatment infrastructure.
Sakhawat Hossain, General Secretary of Bangladesh Tanners Association, said, there were flaws in planning while setting up the industrial park. The planning makes considering backdated estimation. There is insufficient Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) infrastructure to refine the tannery waste.
Hence, arose the situation. Moreover, work for setting up this industrial park started in 2013, not finished yet. Dr Md. Enamour Rahman, State Minister, Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief; Local MP, said,” The government will take action soon regarding this.”
A.K.M. Rafiqul Islam, Director General of the Department of Environment, said, to protect the river from tannery pollution, a project will take up soon. Jitendra Nath Pal, Project Director of the tannery industry park, said, the ETP has been set up in Savar as an estimation to the production capacity of tannery industries of old one was in Hazaribagh, Dhaka.
At present almost all the factories have increased the production capacity to three to five times. As a result, there is more waste generated caused the problem in managing the waste, now. Immediate initiatives have to take to solve this problem.
It saw by visiting around the Bongshi, and the Dhaleshwari near the tannery industrial park, the colour of the water is black due to the waste of garment factories and tanneries. Tannery waste is 85% of the pollution in the Bongshi and Dhaleshwari. Rest 15% is another industrial waste.
According to Bangladesh Small Industries and Cottage (BSIC) sources, 155 factories have started operations in the industrial park till now. The factory generates three types of waste: liquid, solid, and gaseous. There is no system to refine the amount of liquid waste that generate every day.
It was necessary to set up at least two Central Effluent Treatment Plants (CETP) to refine these. But one has been placed.
However, it is not always active. Besides, with the opening of new factories, the ability to process leather has increased. As a result, the amount of waste has also increased. But it is not possible to refine all waste with a CETP.
The solid waste of the industrial park includes – animal hooves, nails, ears, tail, horns, bones, hair, flesh membranes, etc. These use to dump in the dumping yard. The dumping yard has set up on only 6 acres of land, which is very insignificant compared to the need.
As a result, dumping yard overflows and solid waste is spreading on the roads and rivers. Bad smell is spreading all around by getting rotten. These contain various chemicals. Some of the chemicals used in the leather cleaning process take the form of gaseous matter. These spread in the air and create bad smells as well as pollute the air.
A resident named Salauddin said wastes from the industrial park are being dumped directly into the river through hundreds of plastic pipes placed underground. Farmer Mozammel Hossain said, “The river water could not use for household work as well as in agriculture. Even cows cannot bath.”
Elderly Kalim Sheikh said the water was so clear before that could see the riverbed. I used to take the boat from one end of the river to the other to catch Chital and folly fish. Before, countless fishers could not even finish fishing all year round.
Now there are no fish in the river and no fishermen locality.