The High Court once again became annoyed with Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority’s managing director Taqsem A Khan for not complying with directives issued 10 years ago to seal off its sewage lines to the River Buriganga.
The online bench of Justice Gobinda Chandra Tagore and Justice Mohammad Ullah directed Taqsem to submit to it on January 21 specifying the steps taken to implement the directives.
On June 1, 2011, the High Court after hearing a public interest litigation petition of the Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh issued a series of directives to stop dumping of waste into the Buriganga.
The court in the directives ordered the Dhaka WASA, the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority and Department of Environment to stop and prevent waste dumping in the river in six months.
On Wednesday, the High Court expressed its annoyance with Taqsem, saying that the pollution of the Buriganga could never be stopped in the way the Dhaka WASA was proceeding to implement the directives.
The court also expressed dissatisfaction over the report filed by the Dhaka WASA as part of the compliance to implement the directives.
The court issued the fresh order on Taqsem during the hearing of an application filed by the writ petitioner, HRPB, in April 2019 seeking directives to implement the court’s 2011 directives to stop dumping into the Buriganga.
The court said that Taqsem could not show his efficiency in implementing the directives although he had been reappointed as Dhaka WASA managing director by the government three times considering him as a qualified person.
The court said that a series of orders had been passed asking Taqsem to implement the 2011 directives but he was not complying with them.
‘We can’t allow this in this way. It needs to be ended,’ the court said, asking Dhaka WASA managing director’s lawyer Umme Salma to talk with her client.
The court said that the WASA MD had been violating his commitment and delaying in implementing the directives seeking time repeatedly.
The court said that the WASA MD appeared before it on March 4, 2020 responding its summon, apologised for not implementing the directives and promised to implement those immediately.
The Dhaka WASA on December 2, 2019 informed the High Court that that there were 67 underground drains and sewage lines connected to the Buriganga.
But in an earlier report submitted on June 18, 2019, Taqsem said that no such lines were there.
Later, the BIWTA submitted a compliance report to the HC bench stating that 68 underground drains and sewage lines were linked to the Buriganga.
Manzill Murshid appeared for the Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh.