River pollution problem relocated, not resolved

THE Bangladesh government could finally relocate the tanneries industry from the heart of Dhaka to its outskirts. The objective of the relocation of tanneries to the Leather Industry Estate at Savar was to stop further pollution of the River Buriganga, the ecological life line of the capital city. The River Dhaleswari at Savar, a distributary of the Buriganga, is now being polluted as factory managements there keep disposing chromium mixed untreated effluents in the river. The river and the areas surrounding the estate are polluted by at least 20,000 cubic metres of untreated effluents and an unknown quantity of solid wastes from 111 relocated tanneries every day. The Chinese contractor Jiangsu Lingzhi Environmental Protection Co responsible for building and maintaining the central effluent treatment plant is blamed for not having installed a chrome separation unit. The Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation, meanwhile, allowed tanners to dump solid waste in the locality. The problem of river pollution is relocated, it seems, and not resolved.