Garment washing plants run sans ECC, ETP

Anaet Shawon

28 October, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Garment washing plants run sans ECC, ETP

Untreated toxic water is being released into the river Turag, polluting its water. The photo was taken recently from Mawna in Gazipur. -Reaz ahmed Sumon

Dozens of garment washing factories in the capital’s Mirpur area continue to operate illegally without Environmental Clearance Certificate and effluent treatment plant (ETP), thus contributing to pollution in the river Turag and marshland. 

The continuous discharge of unrefined and contaminated liquid waste generated from the factories end up in the water bodies, thanks to the negligence of the authorities concerned.

According to the Department of Environment (DoE), dozens of garment washing factories without ETP were illegally operating in mainly Mirpur’s Rupnagar industrial area, including Shealbari, Boxnagar, Alobdi, Pallabi and Eastern Housing.

Although the DoE warned the owners of these factories several times and fined them, they did not obtain their Environmental Clearance Certificate ((ECC)) or take any steps to rein in environmental pollution. Director (monitoring and enforcement) Begum Rubina Ferdoushi told Daily Sun that, “We are taking action against these plants regularly despite coronavirus pandemic.” “We have already started issuing notice against those illegal factories so that none can pollute the river and operate such factories without the environmental clearance and ETP,” she said.

DoE sources say many factories do not have an environmental clearance certificate and ETP. Even many of them are yet to apply for obtaining clearance.

Sabid Washing, HS Washing, S Bright, Ekota International, R Islam Washing, Pratay International, Super Jeans Washing, Siam Washing, Bhai Bhai Washing, Parsona Washing, Muti Wash, Aksa Wash, Deep Wash, Shah Ali Washing and Dying Unit-2 and Dependable Washing did not apply for an environmental clearance certificate.

Many factories are spending time in the name of applying for clearance, setting up ETP and submitting design. They are Alif Washing Plant, M/S Wash NRS International, Shah Ali Washing and Dying, Mohona International, Jamuna Washing Plant, M/S Latest Wash, New Color Design, Ansams (Private) Ltd, Meghna Washing Unit-1 and Unit-2, Lalon Washing and New Denim Design.

Director (environment clearance certificate) Syed Nazmul Ahsan told the Daily Sun as per the section 12 of Bangladesh Environment Conservation Act 1995 and section 7, 8, 14, 16, under the Environment Conservation Rule 1997, obtaining and renewal of clearance certificate is a must to run such factories, or else it is a punishable offense. Earlier on August 26, the DoE conducted a drive and stopped operations of eight illegal garment washing plants in Mirpur area for polluting the water of Turag and the environment.

The department stopped the operations of Modern Washing Ltd, Meghna Washing Plant (Unit-1 and 2), Lalon Washing Plant, Persona Washing Plant, Bhai Bhai Washing Plant and two unnamed washing factories by disconnecting their electricity supply.

Earlier, the High Court declared the Turag a living entity or legal person and directed the authorities concerned to free the river from all kinds of pollution and encroachment. Even the court urged the authorities concerned not to give them bank loans and also not to let the river encroachers and polluters participate in polls.