The DoE authorities will take a stand against enterprises that missed the deadline
The Department of Environment (DoE) has issued directives to 110 industrial units of the port city of Chittagong to submit their zero-discharge plans to ensure sustainable water management.
Although several months have passed, one-third of the industrial units are yet to come up with their respective plans.
The DoE authorities decided to take a stand against the enterprises that missed the deadline.
Zero-liquid discharge is a water treatment process in which all wastewater is purified and recycled, leaving no discharge at the end of the treatment cycle.
The DoE's Chittagong metropolitan office has written letters to all of the 110 enterprises asking them to submit zero-discharge plans by February 28.
Among them, 38 industrial units of the "red" category and 36 enterprises of the "orange" category submitted their plans within the stipulated timeframe.
Of the "red" category units, the DoE approved 20 units—while the remaining 18 units are currently under scrutiny.
Apart from that, 30 enterprises of the "orange" category were approved by the DoE and the remaining six units are on the waiting list.
A total of 36 businesses, of both the red and orange categories, are yet to submit their plans—even though seven months have passed since the deadline was reached.
The non-compliant enterprises include: KDS Textile Mills Ltd, KDS Cotton Poly Thread Industry Ltd, C&A Textiles Ltd, Royal Tech Dyeing, Super Knitting & Dyeing Mills Ltd, Clifton Apparels Ltd, Reliance Washing Industries Ltd, Peninsula Garments Ltd, Pacific Jeans Ltd, Jeans Express Ltd, Atlanta Jeans Ltd, Denim Expert Ltd, Section Seven Apparels Ltd and Apparel Promoters Ltd.
Most of the non-compliant enterprises are dyeing and washing units.
Meanwhile, a total of 54 industrial units outside Chittagong metropolitan have set up Effluent Treatment Plants (ETPs). The Chittagong district of the DoE has already begun working on ensuring the industries adhere to the zero discharge plan.
Legal action will be taken against the errant enterprises through the: Environment Conservation Act 1995, Environment Conservation Rules 2010, and Environment Conservation Rules 1997 (amended), and Environment Conservation Act 2010 if they do not adopt the zero discharge plan, said the DoE's letter.
"There are more than 800 industrial units in Chittagong. Usually one-third of the profit of an industrial unit goes to running an ETP. That's why some industries do not want to keep their ETP functional. All mills and factories, particularly the dyeing and the washing ones, should adopt zero-discharge concepts sooner rather than later," said environmentalist Prof Dr Edris Ali.
DoE Assistant Director (Technical) of Chittagong Metro Sangjucta Das Gupta told the Dhaka Tribune that the mills and factories with ETPs must adopt zero-discharge plans as per the government order.
"We have written to 110 industrial units to adopt the plan. Some of them have already complied with the order," the DoE official said. "We have warned the industrial units that have missed the deadline.
"The enterprises that submitted their plans must be implemented within three years. We will take legal action if they fail implement the plans," he said.
The recycled wastewater can be used for: flushing toilets, washing cars, watering plants, cleaning floors, washing chemical drums, mixing ETP chemicals, and fire-fighting.