Wasa chief given one month to completely stop the dumping of industrial waste into the Buriganga
The High Court has issued a warning to Dhaka Water and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) Managing Director Taqsem A Khan, directing him to implement its order to stop pollution in the Buriganga River.
The court also directed him to inform the bench after enforcing the order within one month.
The bench of Justice Gobinda Chandra Tagore and Justice Mohammad Ullah issued the order on Monday, setting October 18 as the date for the next hearing on this issue.
Advocate Manzil Murshid stood for the petition in response to which the court issued the order, while Advocate Umme Salma stood for the Dhaka Wasa MD, and Amatul Karim for the Department of Environment.
In 2010, the Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB) filed a writ with the High Court, seeking an order to stop the pollution of the Buriganga due to the waste dumped into the river from the city’s Shyampur industrial area.
In 2011, in response to the writ, the court ordered the Wasa MD to stop the waste management lines from dumping waste into the Buriganga within six months.
However, the Dhaka Wasa failed to implement the order over the years, in response to which the HRPB filed a supplementary petition on January 23 this year.
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The court then summoned the Dhaka Wasa MD, who appeared before the court on March 4 and gave his word to implement the order.
He later asked time extension to implement the order twice, and the court approved the extension – first till August 18, and then September 7.
However, on Monday, the High Court warned the Dhaka Wasa MD, observing that he was not doing anything to make progress in implementing the court order.
Previously on December 8, 2019, the Dhaka Wasa submitted an undertaking to the High Court, promising it would seal off all its drains and sewerage lines connected to the Buriganga River, and file a progress report to the court every month.
On December 2, 2019, the Dhaka Wasa MD had submitted a report to the High Court saying that there were 67 underground drains and sewerage lines connected to Buriganga River, although on June 18 the same year, he had told the court that there were no such lines connected to the river.
On December 8, 2019, Taqsem offered an unconditional apology to the High Court bench for making the false statement about the sewerage lines.
The High Court said it would accept his apology and exonerate him from the case proceedings after six months if it was satisfied that Dhaka Wasa had properly implemented its undertaking.
The apology petition of the Dhaka Wasa MD will be kept in the case record until further order, the court also said.