The High Court Division on Monday directed the utilities to immediately snap  gas, power and water supply connections to 231 factories illegally run on the bank of Buriganga River in the capital.

The court also directed the government to shut down these factories open without environmental clearance and run without installing effluent treatment plants.

A bench of Justice Gobinda Chandra Tagore and Justice Mohammad Ullah also directed the Department of Environment to copies of these directives  Dhaka Electricity Supply Company,  Dwasa and Titas Gas Distribution Company for snapping their supply lines  to these noncompliant factories.

The bench directed also the Department of Environment’s director general to submit compliance report at the next hearing on February 20.

The DoE informed the court that it identified 231 industries including  washing plants, textile and dying factories, plastic factories, furniture factories, metal factories, manufacturers of medical commodities, hair dye  manufacturers and cosmetic factories set up on the Buriganga bank from Sadarghat to Shyampur and Mirpur, an 18 km stretch.

The Department of Environment informed the court that drives to shut down these industries would be started after getting the schedule from its  enforcement wing.  

The court would pass further orders  today about whether or not other noncompliant factories at Kadomtoli in Old Dhaka would be shut down. 

The bench directed DoE DG to submit within three months report after identifying  other factories being run on the bank of Buriganga without taking  environmental clearance and installing ETPs.

The court also directed Dhaka deputy commissioner, superintendent of police, district council chairman and Keraniganj upazila nirbahi officer as well as the officer-in-charge of Keraniganj police station to stop dumping household wastes on the  Buriganga bank in Keraniganj  and take action against violations.

The court asked the authorities to submit compliance reports at the next hearing on February 20.              

The court issued the directives while hearing a supplementary writ petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh.

On June 1, 2011, the court after hearing  HRPB’s public interest writ petition on these issues issued a series of directives to stop dumping wastes in the Buriganga River.

The directives asked Dwasa, BIWTA and DoE to prevent waste dumping in the rivers flowing by the capital in six months.

In December 2019, the bench gave another  six-month deadline to

Dwasa to  seal its 68 underground pipe lines used to release sewer into the Buriganga River.

The bench also directed BIWTA chairman to seal by January 7 all the other illegal sewerage and drainage pipelines under use to release wastes into the Buriganga River.

The court had directed Dwasa managing director to explain in 15 days why action would not be taken against him for submitting a false report in the court claiming that Dwasa’s 930-km sewerage pipeline ‘dumps no human wastes in Buriganga or in the wetlands.’

Dwasa MD was also directed to explain why action would not be taken against him for his failure to stop releasing sewer  in the Buriganga as he was directed  in the HC verdict delivered on June 1, 2011.

BIWTA had informed the court that it published notices in newspapers asking the Dwasa to remove its 56 sewerage pipelines and the factory owners to remove their waste pipelines connected to he Buriganga.

On November 26, 2019 after hearing another writ petition filed by HRPB, a bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader  directed the DoE to shut down in 15 days non-compliant brick kilns around the capital.

The bench had also directed the DoE to get the brick kilns around the capital as well as in Narayanganj, Gazipur, Munshiganj and Manikganj shut down by mobile courts.

Manzill Murshid appeared for HRPB and Amatul Karim for DoE and Siddiqur Rahman Khan for five errant factories.

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