Development in Harmony with Nature

Syed Tasnem Mahmood

15 October, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Development in Harmony with Nature

Syed Tasnem Mahmood

Whenever we discuss about any environmental activity, it is often alleged that it is against industrialisation. This is the reality not only in our country but also in different countries of the world. I agree that industrialisation is a cause of the present situation but now we have to stop blaming and start using a sustainable way by which both our development and environment could be enriched.     

Let us see the situation of an American citizen named Alexxyndria Topazio Cotege who introduced “Green Utility”, an advanced technology, which is harsh to some industrialists as they are accusing that it will stop the industry business all around the world. The real concept is that we can run them both and this process is known as ‘sustainable development’ and so the chaos we are observing in our environment, as in Buriganga or in Turag river or air pollution of Dhaka, directly related to industrialisation and development.

Our problem is we try to find the problems in our books and if we try we can easily find a solution but we will not do that; we will contract with a Chinese company for this. By moving ultimately we and our industry suffer. Since we are not maintaining the proper rules we have been suffering. We should not mess up the core rules of combining industry and environment. We are moving our industry because it is producing lots of waste both solid and liquid. We are depositing them, not recycling. Therefore, the main focus is we have to find a sustainable way while we are implementing CETP. Though there are CETPs in many places of Bangladesh but they look like invisible.

To prevent this, the government should take proper steps to update the rules. The environmental rule which we follow was established in 1997. Though already it has been said that new rules will be included but it did not happen. As we are developing industrially, we have to change and upgrade the rules quickly according to the new era. Now there is a management guide (still in the implementation stage) but it was not here even four years before. Another problem is we have a gap between the academics and the people who work on technical sectors. In the academic sector, we cannot bring them in our industries and without these they are bestowing possible solution. Moreover there is lacking in industrial zone too.

As a result, no matter how many new rules are enacted, we cannot cope with the changed situation. For example: Bangladesh government’s environment department has introduced their new concept “zero discharge plan”. If any industry now wants to renew their license, they will have to submit plans for zero discharge. This means they have to submit a guideline about how they are going to function till 2021 and bring down their trash to zero level. However, at this present, in the market the technology that they have to transform the trash to zero level liquid discharge are not economically feasible.

Now, the government is trying to implement one thing gradually but they do not know if the market is ready for it yet. Solution providers or environmental initiatives cannot restore the previous environment. The process we can do now is to take control over the affects of global warming within next 12 years that means reducing the waste of this era. Moreover, we have to use energy efficient machineries and have to increase the chances of renewable energy in electricity consumption and electricity production sectors. We work in two sectors. First about the present 12 years time frame, we provide solution to stop the adverse of global warming or climate change and second showing the way to survive. First we have to stop and think of another way then our environment will recover by its own as it is already proven by the recovery of river Thames. Therefore, stop! Think for another way by reducing the damage of environment and it will soon be as like as before. 

There are some organisations that are doing a wonderful job. We really appreciate their work as they are raising awareness among the people. However, is it a strong procedure? You are cleaning the river for only one day but people are depositing their waste daily. Therefore the best part of the work is to create awareness. Do this task daily. If the masses become aware of their surroundings, it will never become like the present time.

As an example let us have a look on Colombo city. It was as dirty as Dhaka 15 years ago but when they started to clean it daily the masses became aware about this and now look at it. Therefore we need to change the hearts of our masses but it is not the responsibility of “BD Clean” rather it is the responsibility of City Corporation. City Corporation must work seriously and it will help both as active procedure and changing the heart.

Therefore, all cleaning organisations and the government should work unitedly and if the system works properly, all will be fantastic.

After completing my graduation I ultimately join a company as an environmental engineer in an industry. The thing I noticed there was, we are polluting lots of pure water in a single factory. In my factory in every hour two millions litres of pure waters get polluted. Therefore, I calculated how much water was getting polluted by combining all those factories and I started working in affluent treatment plant management. Gradually, my company started working on other environment sectors.

Now in the metro-rail project, the environmental monitoring management sector’s officer is from our company. We are working on some off-plantation and multinational company. We are also working on indoor air quality.

There are many new factories that have started functioning recently. For them I want to say that they must build a sustainable factory irrespective of whether they have certification or not. The funny thing is the technology that we use in industries in such a way that if you do not make sustainable factory, you will incur losses in your business.

Generally, we think about individual material cost but at the end of the day, cost of energy, gas and water will increase. If you invest your money in sustainable development now, you might have to invest more money now, but it will come back to you within next few years as profit. Your money will be saved for the next 10 to 15 years. This will be ultimately profitable in the short or long run which will support them both financially and environmentally.


The writer is CEO of Greenbud, an environmental testing, inspection, consultancy and service initiative.