The High Court on Monday asked the government to shut down 231 factories which are polluting the River Buriganga and are running business without environmental clearance.
The court also directed the government agencies concerned to disconnect water, gas and electricity lines of the illegally-run businesses.
Moreover, the High Court ordered the local administration to stop the dumping of waste into the river and submit a progress report to the court by February 20.
It asked the Department of Environment (DoE) to provide a list of the polluters to the Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa), Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Limited, and Dhaka Power Distribution Company Limited (DPDC).
The two-member High Court bench asked the DoE to submit a progress report to the court by February 20.
The environment department on Sunday submitted to the court a list of 231 factories running illegally on the banks of the River Buriganga.
The High Court bench in December last year asked for the list acting on a petition by the Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB)
Meanwhile, the Wasa on December 8 last year submitted an undertaking to the High Court saying it would seal off all its drains and sewerage lines connected to the Buriganga and that it would file a progress report every month.
At that time, Wasa Managing Director Taqsem A Khan issued an unconditional apology to the High Court bench for making an untrue statement about sewerage lines linked to the river.
He submitted a report to the court on December 2, saying that there were 67 underground drains and sewerage lines connected to the Buriganga. But in an earlier report submitted on June 18, 2019, he said no such lines were there.
The HC bench on that day said it would accept the Wasa managing director's apology and exonerate him from the case proceedings after six months if the Wasa implemented its undertaking accordingly.
The court is likely to hold a hearing on the apology on Tuesday.
The High Court bench on December 8 last year said if the Wasa and the DoE were sincere and worked by forming separate teams, they could stop dumping of liquid waste into the Buriganga within a few days.
Earlier in 2011, the court directed the authorities concerned to seal off all sewerage disposal lines.
The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) has recently submitted a compliance report to the HC bench stating that 68 underground drains and sewerage lines were linked to the Buriganga.
On December 3, the HC bench observed that the Wasa was responsible for controlling the 68 underground drains and sewerage lines, and Dhaka city corporations were responsible for the surface pipelines.
In 2010, the HRPB filed a writ petition seeking High Court directives on preventing the Buriganga River from pollution.
On June 1, 2011, the court issued three-point directives that included taking immediate action to stop waste disposal in Buriganga, and closing down all sewerage lines connected to the river within the next six months.
As the directives were not fully implemented, advocate Manzill Murshid, on behalf of the HRPB, filed a supplementary application on April 14 last year.
The court later asked the respondents to submit a progress report to the court, stating what steps they took to implement the directives.