The High Court on Monday asked the Managing of Director of Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (WASA) Taksim A Khan to implement its 2011 order to take steps to prevent the pollution of the Buriganga River and submit a progress report to it within one month.
The HC bench of Justice Gobinda Chandra Thakur and Mohammad Ullah passed the order after hearing a petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh.
“The Wasa MD is not implementing the order of the HC willingly and wasting time. The order of the HC should not be taken lightly,” said the court.
The HC also fixed October 18 for next hearing.
Besides, the HC also asked the authorities concerned to remove the wastes from the southern side and the banks of the Buriganga River within two weeks and take steps to stop dumping wastes on it.
It also asked the authorities concerned including Department of Environment (DoE), Dhaka District deputy commissioner, Police Super, Keraniganj Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) and officer-in-charge of Keraniganj Police Station to submit a progress report within September 30 in this regard.
Advocate Manzill Murshid stood for the petitioner while advocate Umme Salma for Wasa and lawyer Amatul Karim represented the Department of Environment (DoE).
In 2011, the High Court directed the authorities concerned to evict all the illegal establishments along the Buriganga River. It also asked to take necessary steps to stop dumping all kinds of wastes into it.
But some industries were involved in dumping liquid waste through the sewerage lines of Wasa.
On March 4, the Wasa MD assured the court of implementing its order after appearing before the court physically.
In 2010, Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB) filed a writ with the High Court to bring an end to Buriganga water pollution.
The HC issued directives in 2011 to Wasa for disconnecting industrial discharge lines into the river within six months.
In 2014, DoE disconnected the electric lines of those industries which had no ETP (effluent treatment plant) and those who dump industrial wastes in the Buriganga.
Manzill Murshid said the DoE action was stayed by the Supreme Court following a petition filed by Industry Owners’ Association seeking a stay. Later in 2016, the Appellate Division passed an order declaring the action by DoE legal. But Wasa did not take any step in the three years.
Later, Wasa submitted a report saying that there is no sewerage line of Wasa connecting the Buriganga River.
Dhaka Wasa, in its affidavit, said its 930-km sewerage line disposes wastes at Pagla sewerage treatment plant and no line is connected to the Buriganga.
In 2011, the High Court issued directives to prevent the pollution of Buriganga after hearing a writ petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh.
As the HC order went unheeded, the organisation filed an appeal again in this regard.