• Wednesday, Jun 19, 2019
  • Last Update : 04:57 pm

Profit over environment

  • Published at 12:00 am January 10th, 2019
Protecting nature Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

How we are hurting our eco-system

Rent-seekers are the parasites, or the looting class in Bangladesh. 

They are very active in encroaching upon others’ land, cutting down trees, destroying forests without considering ecological deterioration, building industries without considering local people, building mobile phone towers without considering public places such as hospitals, schools, colleges, universities, or parks. 

Their main intention is to increase profits by destroying the ecology, environment, and people’s health. These give rise to various negative externalities. A very interesting point is these rent-seekers maintain a channel with politicians.

As a result, deforestation, land encroachment, and environmental pollution are common phenomena in Bangladesh. Recently, it has been observed that leather industries are trying to avoid the governmental decision of relocating the plants from Hazaribagh in Dhaka to Hemayetpur in Savar, thus ignoring legal directives of the country. 

Besides, indiscriminate disposal of untreated wastes from these industries into the nearby water-bodies are causing irreversible environmental damage in the locality. At present, around 250 industries are discharging chemical pollutants into Buriganga and Sitalakhya rivers. 

Farmers use different inimical pesticides and fertilizers in agricultural land without considering water and land pollution. They use potash, sulphate, calcium carbonate, and triple superphosphate in the land. These kinds of fertilizers disrupt the soil structure, profile, and fertility.

The irresponsible use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides also hamper crop production, as well as destroy the beneficial elements. 

During the rainy season, chemicals are washed away to near water-bodies -- rivers, ponds, lakes, haors, and baors -- which finally get deposited into the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems of the locality.

In time, the right policies may be put in place which could address these crimes against the environment, nature, and the eco-system for sustainable and eco-friendly development in Bangladesh. 

Shishir Reza is a writer, an environmental analyst, and associate member of the Bangladesh Economic Association.