Old battery factories damage biodiversity in Sirajganj

Published : 28 Mar 2023 07:42 PM

The environment and biodiversity are under threat due to the construction of illegal old battery factory in Sirajganj.

During visit, it can be seen that the old battery factory has been built on the cropland along the Kundashan-Ranirhat regional road of Talam Union of the upazila. The toxic acid water and lead fumes from the batteries are harming the surrounding environment and rice paddies.

There has been a mixed reaction among the people of the area that such a sensitive substance factory has been built on cropland without the permission of the Environment Department. Old, auto-rickshaw and charger van batteries are being bought at half price and the various parts in these old batteries are being opened and reused. Toxic acid water and lead from old batteries are recycled. The toxic acid, lead, plastic waste of these batteries are damaging the cropland near the factory, where paddy is growing. The surrounding environment is getting polluted.

Lead, smoke, waste materials harmful to the environment and human body are constantly being emitted from these factories, which are run without fulfilling the clearance and other conditions of the Department of Environment.

Rafiqul Islam Jewel, a local farmer of Kundashan village, complained that the crops of the area are being destroyed due to the factory of old batteries on the cropland. We are drawing the attention of the administration that the factory should be closed soon. He also said, I have 15 bigha paddy land next to the factory. My crop fields were burnt due to setting up of battery factories. Even all the surrounding land is getting massive damage.

Locals complain that when the night is late, various parts of old batteries are burnt. The lead inside is removed from the old battery by burning it. Later, the lead and other substances released from these burnt batteries are resold to the battery making factories.

Most of the people working in this old battery factory are from Naogaon, Bogura, Gaibandhar. They took apart all the parts of the battery and burnt the battery and sent it to Bogura. There, these parts are reused in new batteries.

There is no health care for the workers working in old battery acid. These workers are working without face masks.

Yashin Ali, a laborer working in a battery factory, said that he is working in the battery factory at the risk of his life as the poor people do not have work.

Syed Abdul Hadi, the owner of an unauthorized battery factory in Gaibandha district, said that this is how old batteries are processed all over the country. I was the first to come up with it in a hurry. When the factories were set up, there were no crops in the fields. He also said that there is no approval or license. But he is running the factory by managing everyone.

In this regard, Tarash Upazila Agriculture Officer Abdul Al Mamun said, it is completely prohibited to make such flammable materials in the agricultural land. There is a risk of long-term loss of cropland. Any type of acid in cropland causes the pH of the soil to rise. It makes the soil excessively alkaline. As a result, plants cannot get their food from the soil. In this regard Tarash Upazila Assistant Commissioner Noori Tasmin Urmi said that all these unlicensed factories will be dealt with soon.

In this context, Assistant Director of Rajshahi Divisional Environment Department, Tamim Hasan said, "We have not taken any approval from our office. Various chemicals including sulfuric acid are used in auto rickshaw batteries.

Sirajganj District Commissioner Mir Mahbubur Rahman said that he came to know about the matter after the correspondent mentioned the issue. Directorate of Environment and local administration and will take necessary measures in this regard.