Buriganga Pollution

Contempt rule issued against Wasa MD

24 January, 2020 12:00 AM printer

The High Court on Thursday issued a contempt of court rule against Dhaka Wasa Managing Director Taskim A Khan, reports UNB.

The HC bench of Justice Gobinda Chandra Thakur and Mohammad Ullah issued the rule against the MD for non-compliance of its order and hampering its normal activities by providing false information over the pollution of the Buriganga River.

The court asked him to respond to the rule within two weeks.

Advocate Manzill Murshid stood for the petitioner while advocate Umme Salma for Wasa and lawyer Amatul Karim represented the Department of Environment (DoE).

In 2010, Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB) filed a writ with the High Court to bring an end to Buriganga water pollution.

The HC issued directives in 2011 to Wasa for disconnecting industrial discharge lines into the river within six months.

In 2014, DoE disconnected the electric lines of those industries which had no ETP (effluent treatment plant) and those who dump industrial wastes in the Buriganga.

Manzill Murshid said the DoE action was stayed by the Supreme Court following a petition filed by Industry Owners’ Association seeking a stay. Later in 2016, the Appellate Division passed an order declaring the action by DoE legal. But Wasa did not take any step in the three years.

Later, Wasa submitted a report saying that there is no sewerage line of Wasa connecting the Buriganga River.

Dhaka Wasa, in its affidavit, said its 930-km sewerage line disposes wastes at Pagla sewerage treatment plant and no line is connected to the Buriganga.

However, a BIWTA report said Wasa dumps industrial and hospital wastes, and contaminates water of the Buriganga through 58 sewerage lines at different places of Dhaka, Keraniganj, and Narayanganj.

Meanwhile, on December 2, the Wasa managing director offered an unconditional apology to the court for falsely claiming an affidavit on June 18 last that no sewerage line was connected to the Buriganga.

After comparing the two reports, the HC said Dhaka Wasa submitted false information, which is tantamount to a crime.