Department of Environment on Monday fined Tk 20 lakh to Chattogram Asian Paper Mills for discharging industrial waste into a nearby canal that flows into the river Halda.
Chattogram Asian Paper Mills Private Limited, situated at Nondirhat area of Chikondondi union of Hathazari upazila in Chattogram, was accused of not operating the effluent treatment plant, ETP in short, as part of waste management.
After a hearing on Monday, DoE Chattogram region director Md Moazzem Hossain fined the mill primarily Tk 20 lakh after environmental damage assessment following the article-7 of Environment Act 1995.
He ordered the mill authority to make its ETP effective by one month. The DoE director said that if they failed to do so, the DoE would file case against the mill and take legal steps.
DoE assistant director Md Muktadir Hasan said that on May 25 an inspection team of the DoE visited the paper mill and found that it was running without ETP operation and was discharging effluent into a nearby pond causing environmental pollution.
The effluent from the mill is carried into the river Halda through the Madari and Katakhali canals.
The mill regularly discharges solid waste into the nearby canal and at times during heavy rain the river water turns pitch-black.
Chattogram Asian Paper Mill chief engineer Md Shafiul Alam and manager Md Ehsanul Azad were present at the hearing.
Manager Md Ehsanul Azad said that they run the ETP during production time only.
Earlier, on May 30, water resources secretary Kabir Bin Anowar ordered to take necessary action against the paper mill when he came to attend an event at Raozan when locals complained about the paper mill polluting the environment in the area.
On May 26 Hathazari upazila nirbahi officer Ruhul Amin noticed red water in Madari canal and submitted a written complaint to the DoE.
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