The Department of Environment (DoE) on Tuesday slapped Tk 5 million fine on Bashundhara Paper Mills Limited, a sister concern of Bashundhara Group, for dumping untreated and highly toxic liquid wastes into the Meghna River.
Assistant Director (Enforcement) of the environment watchdog Md Hafizur Rahman told bdnews24.com that they conducted a drive at the paper mill near the Meghna Bridge on the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway on Feb 16.
The DoE team found that the paper mill was dumping untreated wastes into the river from its both units through an alternate canal despite having an Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP).
The watchdog conducted the drive to examine at Bashundhara Paper Mills’ liquid waste.
They said evidence of waste dumping without proper refinement was found at Bashundhara Paper Mills’ unit-1. Samples from unit-2 were found below allowed levels.
The premises said to have included Effluent Treatment Plant for treating waste.
After a hearing, DoE Director (Monitoring and Enforcement) Md Alamgir fined the managers of the two units Tk 4.99 million for polluting the river violating law.
The paper mill would be shut down if it fails to take adequate measures to protect environment and biodiversity of the river, the watchdog further warned.
However, spokesperson of the Bashundhara Group Mohammad Abu Tyab told bdnews24.com the decision was ‘illogical and unfair’ insisting that the move had been made to please ‘a special quarter’.