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Bangladesh HC orders closure of 27 entities along riverbank

The High Court (HC) yesterday ordered the Department of Environment (DoE) to shutdown 27 dying factories and private hospitals on the bank of the Buriganga River that have no environmental clearance certificate.
The HC bench also issued a rule asking Managing Director of Dhaka’s Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (WASA) to explain in 15 days why legal action should not be taken against him for making false statement about sewerage line connecting to the river. In response to a writ petition, the HC bench comprising Justice Gobinda Chandra Tagore and Justice Mohammad Ullah came up with the order and gave the DoE 15 days to carry out the order.
The Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB), a human rights body, filed the petition with the HC in 2011 seeking its directive over the matter. Advocate Manzill Murshid, president of the HRPB, who moved the petition, told reporters that the high court, in an earlier order, sought reports from the DoE, Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) and managing director of WASA about the structures, which were built in Shyampur and Postogola areas on the bank of Buriganga river, without obtaining environment clearance certificates, sewerage lines and WASA lines.
The DoE submitted a report recently to the HC in line with its previous directive. In its report, the DoE stated that there are 27 establishments – dying factories and private hospitals – near Shyampur and Postogola areas on the river bank, which have no environmental clearance certificate. A separate report, submitted by WASA MD, stated that there are no sewerage lines connecting to the Buriganga River. However, the BIWTA, in its report, said there are several sewerage lines that connect to the river, causing pollution. After going through the reports, the HC bench yesterday came up with the order. The HC bench also fixed December 2 for passing further order on the issue.

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