Thursday, 21 October, 2021

Sewers polluting water bodies

Sewers polluting water bodies
Household waste is being released into a canal in the capital, polluting the water body. The photo was taken on Friday. —Reaz Ahmed Sumon

The authorities of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) are yet to take action against owners of the establishments polluting water bodies by releasing sewage.

DNCC officials said that they are yet to make a list of the polluters and take steps to disconnect those sewage lines from rivers, canals, and lakes and storm-water drainages.

DNCC earlier said it would conduct mobile courts against such polluters after March 31.

Officials of DNCC said that they issued a circular on January 1, asking city dwellers to disconnect the lines from the water and advised them to set up soak wells to reserve the wastewater.

They also warned that they would take action under the Local Government Act, 2009 (City Corporation) against the polluters who would fail to disconnect the lines by March 31.

According to Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage, Dhaka can treat the sewage waste from 12 per cent area while the rest are out of the coverage of sewerage lines.

Environmentalists said that due to releasing human and kitchen waste into the rivers, canals and lakes, the environment of Dhaka is under threat.

During a visit to the Gulshan Lake which flows through Gulshan, Banani, Baridhara and Mohakhali, this correspondent found that most of the residential buildings have direct sewage lines to the lake.

Talking to the Daily Sun, Chief Waste Management Officer of DNCC M Saidur Rahman said that they have failed to take the action due to the COVID-19 situation.

“We could not take action against the polluters because of our engagement with anti-mosquito drive and COVID-19 situation. Besides, leaders of some housing societies have requested to us for extending the deadline.”

“We have visited many water bodies like Gulshan Lake and found that most establishments are releasing the waste into our stormwater drainage which falls into the canals or lakes while some connect those directly to the water bodies,” he also said.

He also blamed the Water Supply and Sewerage Authority for not having functional sewerage coverage in Dhaka.

“Without functional sewerage lines for treating human and kitchen waste, it is impossible to get rid of the pollution of water bodies,” he added.

WASA Director (Technical) AKM Shahid Uddin said, “We have sewerage lines in Gulshan, Banani, Mohakhali area but people are connecting the sewerage lines with lakes and canals. We have also issued a notice to city dwellers to set up soak wells in the buildings of some area where we have no sewerage lines, such as Mirpur.”

He also said, “We are trying to complete the Dasherkandi Sewage Treatment Plant by June 2022 to collect the swage through rehabilitating the sewage lines of Gulshan, Banai, Baridhara, Mohakhali, Niketon, Kalabagn, and Hatirjheel area.”