Vol. 5 Num 990 Wed. March 14, 2007  

Industrial Pollution
Sayedabad plant unable to treat Shitalakhya water
Says LGRD Adviser

LGRD Adviser Anwarul Iqbal yesterday said the Sayedabad Water Treatment Plant is unable to treat water from the Shitalakhya River due to heavy pollution from its surrounding industries.

"It's (Sayedabad plant) already unable to treat the Shitalakhya water. The presence of higher level of ammonia at Sarulia point has affected the treatment plant," he said.

The adviser came up with the shocking disclosure while addressing a consultation workshop, titled 'Industrial Pollution and Environmental Compliance in the Greater Dhaka Watershed'. LGRD Ministry and the World Bank jointly organised the workshop at a city hotel.

The adviser said Dhaka would not be a livable city very soon, unless a concrete operational plan is unfolded to arrest and mitigate environmental degradation. "Industrialisation is a blessing for the civilization while pollution is a curse for mankind," he said.

"We have to manage this menace for our survival," he said adding that the interest of the common people would be given priority, not the interest of industrialists, to save the country.

About depleting groundwater level, he said, "Dhaka WASA is heavily dependent on groundwater, which is depleting day by day and I believe that we are at a mining state with groundwater abstraction."

As the country, particularly Dhaka city, facing a serious

environmental hazard for man-made reasons, the LGRD adviser urged the industrialists not to discharge untreated wastewater into drains, canals and rivers to mitigate the environmental degradation.

"The entire major surface water-bodies, including the Buriganga,

Shitalakhya, Turag and Balu are virtually dead as industrial growth and discharge of untreated wastewater within and outside Dhaka have inflamed the (environmental) problem," he said.

Anwarul Iqbal said Dhaka with more than 10 million inhabitants is today one of the 10 mega cities in the world. Its population will double by around 2020.

"Obviously for Bangladesh, such a major growth has already created various challenges to maintain environmental quality and sustain infrastructure services, including water supply, sanitation drainage and solid waste management," he said.

Lead Environmental specialist Adriana Damianova described the workshop's objectives, study overview and agenda while SM Mahbubur Rahman and Dr Nandini Dasgupta presented the draft technical report and the socioeconomic analysis respectively at the inaugural function.

Chaired by LGRD Secretary Safar Raj Hossain, the workshop was also addressed by Environment and Forest secretary SM Jahrul Islam.

LGRD Adviser Anwarul Iqbal speaks at a consultation workshop titled 'Industrial pollution and environmental compliance in the greater Dhaka watershed' at a city hotel yesterday. PHOTO: STAR