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Dhaka Tribune

DoE shuts paper mill for polluting Halda river

The errant paper mill was served show-cause notice and fined on several occasions earlier

Update : 18 Aug 2019, 04:24 PM

The Department of Environment (DoE) has ordered suspension of operations at a paper mill for discharging untreated toxic wastes into a waterbody connected to the Halda river.

DoE Chittagong Office Director Azadur Rahman Mollick passed the order during a hearing held at its office on Sunday.

DoE (Chittagong region) Assistant Director Muktadir Hasan told Dhaka Tribune that Chittagong Asian Paper Mill (Pvt) Ltd, located at Nandirhat area in Hathazari upazila, has been asked to suspend operations on charges of polluting the Halda river through a bypass.

"The errant paper mill was served show-cause notice and fined on several occasions. This time, the sludge which was kept under the open sky washed away with rainwater and polluted the river through a waterbody," said the DoE official.    

The environment protection agency also asked the authorities of the plant not to resume operation until they have a proper waste disposal system, amend the faulty Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP), and keep the ETP active round the clock and take initiative to dispose of the sludge without causing any harm to the environment.

Shafiul Alam, chief engineer of Chittagong Asian Paper Mills Ltd told Dhaka Tribune that they would fulfill the four conditions set by the DoE.

"We will try our best to comply with all environmental rules and regulations so that Halda river does not get polluted," he added.   

Earlier on June 10, the DoE fined the Asian Paper Mills in Chittagong Tk20 lakh for polluting the environment of the Halda river.

On August 14, a team of the DoE visited the paper mill and found the waste disposal system in miserable condition.

Water samples were collected from different points of the paper mill during the visit. Later, the samples tested in the DoE laboratory were found to be beyond the parameters set by Environment Conservation Rules, 1997. 

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