Environment Depatt orders shutdown of Asian Paper Mills for polluting Halda River
Chattogram Bureau :
The Department of Environment has ordered the shutdown of Asian Paper Mills for polluting the Halda River by dumping waste .
Azadur Rahman Mallik, director in the Department of Environment Chattogram Metropolitan, issued the order on Sunday following a hearing.
The authority has been ordered to immediately implement a proper waste management system, continue running the ETP by fixing the flaws , and initiate a sludge removing system, he told .
The department ordered factory owners to stop production until all these measures are taken, "The qualitative report received after collecting and analyzing water samples from different points of the organization fail to maintain the standards mentioned in the Environment Conservation Rules 1997," the DoE added.
Chief Chemist Morshed Alam Chowdhury, General Manager Raghunath Chowdhury and Chief Engineer Md Shafiul Alam represented Asian Paper Mills in the hearing.
"The DoE has ordered the company to complete the planned ETP soon and to withhold production until it is done," Administrative Officer Md Jahangir Alam told the New Nation .The DoE had fined and warned the organization multiple times but they took no effective measure, the department said in a statement.
"The waste management system of the organization was found in a sorry state when it was inspected on Aug 14. The sledges' are kept in an open place and are easily washed away in rainwater into the nearby canal. The canal water then reaches the Halda River through Morachhora canal."
Being informed of untreated liquid waste polluting the springs and canals near Chittagong Asian Paper Mills, Hathhazari UNO Md Ruhul visited the scene on Aug 10. The Halda researchers visited the factory on Aug 11. The researchers found liquid wastes flowing into the spring, ETP not running and the wastes flowing into the nearby spring during their inspection of the Asian Paper Mills.
Kabir Bin Anwar, secretary in the Ministry of Water Resources, issued an instruction to file a case and take other necessary measures against the paper mill when he received complaints from the locals while visiting Rowzan on May 30. The DoE also fined Asian Paper Mills Tk 2 million over the same issue on Jun 10. It also gave directive to the mill to activate its effluent treatment plant in a month, which never happened.
The factory is situated at Nondirhat, near Morachhora canal, which is connected to Dome canal, Madari canal and Katakhali canal.