Random emission of thick smoke and indiscriminate dumping of industrial wastes were causing severe damage to the environment of Narayangaj. The inhabitants of Narayanganj have demanded to set up waste recycle plants and dumping of the industrial wastes outside of the residential areas to ensure fresh air for the people.
However, as per the direction of the High Court, the department of environment has begun eviction work of the unauthorized brick kilns in Narayanganj but the activity is not sufficient enough to ensure a clean environment, experts says.
According to the sources of Dyeing Factory Owners Association and other related industry owners, almost five hundred dyeing factories, four hundred and fifty readymade garments factories, along with other factories are continuously emitting smoke polluting air, and dumping wastes in the rivers and canals in the district. As a result, public health is turning more hazardous every day and cultivable lands are losing fertility resulting gradual decrease in crop production.
Industrial wastes has already polluted water of the rivers Shitalakhya, Buriganga, and Balu along with hundreds of linking canals. Often the mobile court team of the Environment Ministry imposes fines to those textile and other industries running in violation of the environment rules and polluting the Shitalakhya River and its canals but nothing seems sufficient to reduce the environment pollution.
Sufferers claimed that some corrupted officials of the Department of Environment were issuing clearance to the industry owners to run their industries as usual as against receiving kickbacks. As a result, the industry owners never pay hid to any allegation of the local sufferers or to any demonstration brought against them. Most of the dyeing factories have no effluent treatment plants (ETP) and those are not set up in isolated places either.
Setting up of so many unplanned industries is ruining both public health and natural water sources, where people once used to take bath or use water for domestic purposes. People of the district staged several demonstrations demanding to save several water bodies from the grip of pollution but no initiative is yet visible from the concerned authorities. Almost all brick kilns in Baktabali area under Fatulla thana and Rupganj thana are posing devastating environmental threat using woods as fuel. The low height kilns are creating random emission of smoke engulfing the adjacent areas. Some brick kilns are even made by encroaching the riverbed of Buriganga. The areas surrounding re-rolling mills are also unfit for people habitation due to smoke, sound and heat.
A sufferer named Sazzad Hossain of Deobhog Banglabazar area under Fatulla thana alleged, a dyeing factory entitled “United Dyeing” is situated beside his residence. The factory emits smoke and poisonous chemical to a canal that is linked to both Shitalakhya and Buriganga River. Sufferers from Kashipur, Baktabali and other areas demanded the industry owners to follow the environment rule in running their factories so that people of the areas do not have to suffer.
ATM Kamal, President of an environmental organization named NIRVIK said, people are suffering from health hazards due to emission of smoke from industries in residential areas and the loss of canals and natural water sources. He also criticized the inactivity of the concerned organs of the government to check environment pollution. He further said, as per rule we cannot fill our ponds but the public property like canals are being filled by grabbers unabated, he added. A very recent survey report says that the air in Narayanganj is the most polluted in the country, even than the capital city.