Speakers at a discussion on Wednesday said although the relocation of tanneries to Savar Tannery Industrial Estate from Hazaribagh has saved the Buriganga River and adjoining areas from pollution, the tannery waste is now contaminating the Dhaleshwari River and its nearby areas, posing an environmental hazard, reports UNB.
Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA) and Buriganga Riverkeeper organised the roundtable discussion titled “How to protect Buriganga and Dhaleshwari from Tannery pollution” at the Jatiya Press Club in the city.
The speakers said many facilities are yet to be ensured at the Savar tannery estate as many works have not been completed.
The waste treatment system there is of no use actually for incomplete design of the estate and gross mismanagement, they alleged.
Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan who was the chief guest at the programme said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has directed for establishing environment-friendly industries across the country. “So, everyone should be sincere to resolve the problem instead of putting blame on each other,” he said.
In 2001, the High Court directed the government to shift the tannery factories from Hazaribagh to Savar in view of the critical condition of the Buriganga caused by dumping of untreated chemical waste of the tanneries into the river.
BAPA General Secretary Dr M Abdul Matin, former member of National River Conservation Commission Md Alauddin, Supreme Court lawyer Manzill Murshid, Bangladesh Tannery Workers’ Union General Secretary Md Abdul Malek and Savar Tannery Industrial Estate Project Coordinator CEPT Engineer Md Abdul Kaiyum, among others, spoke at the programme with BAPA Vice-President Syed Abul Maksud in the chair.