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4 December, 2019 12:27:21 AM

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Shut illegal sewage lines with Buriganga: HC

STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka
Shut illegal sewage lines with Buriganga: HC

The High Court (HC) yesterday directed the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) to stop all but 68 underground drains and sewerage lines connected to the Buriganga River. The BIWTA will have to file a report on this at the HC by January 7.

The HC also observed that Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (WASA) is the authority concerned to control and stop the 68 underground drains and sewerage lines that have been polluting the river. “These drains and sewerage lines have been polluting the Buriganga River. The pollution must be stopped. Dhaka city corporations are responsible to control the surface pipelines in the capital,” the HC observed. The HC bench of Justices Gobinda Chandra Tagore and Mohammad Ullah came up with the order and observations yesterday after receiving a report by the BIWTA, which stated that there are 68 underground drains and sewerage lines connected to the Buriganga River, that are maintained by Dhaka WASA.

The bench directed the BIWTA to identify whether there are any other waste disposal lines connected to both the banks of the Buriganga River in Dhaka except for the 68 underground drains and sewerage lines and to seal them off by January 7, 2020. In its observation, the HC bench also said that the WASA authority could not avoid the responsibility of polluting the Buriganga River by running sewerage lines into it. The court asked the WASA authorities to take decision to stop the sewerage lines for the greater interest of the environment.

The HC bench also asked the environment department to conduct survey on whether there are any entities established inside the Burigana River without environment clearance certificates. It asked DoE to submit a report in this regard. It came up with the order even as BIWTA counsel advocate Syed Mafizur Rahman sought time to complete the process. The HC bench also fixed December 8 for passing an order on this issue. The BIWTA also submitted a compliance report in line with an earlier HC order. On November 17, the court had ordered the Department of Environment (DoE) to shut down 27 dye factories and private hospitals without environmental clearance certificates located on the banks of Buriganga River.

In response to a writ petition, the same HC bench also issued a rule asking the managing director of WASA to explain in 15 days why legal action should not be taken against him for making false statement about sewerage lines connected to the river. Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB), a rights body, had filed the petition in the HC in 2011, seeking its directive over the matter. Advocate Manzill Murshid, president of the HRPB, who filed the petition, told reporters that the HC had earlier sought reports from the DoE, BIWTA, and the MD of WASA about the structures built in Shyampur

and Postogola areas on the banks of the Buriganga river without obtaining environment clearance certificates. The DoE had submitted a report to the HC recently in line with its previous directive. In its report, the DoE stated that there are 27 establishments—dye factories and private hospitals—without environmental clearance certificates near Shyampur and Postogola areas on the river banks.

A separate report submitted by the WASA MD stated that there are no sewerage lines connected to the Buriganga river. However, the BIWTA report said that several sewerage lines are connected to the river and cause pollution. After going through the reports, the HC bench had come up with the order and fixed December 2 for passing further order on the issue.

MK

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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