PM's international relation affairs advisor Gowher Rizvi and Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor Md Atiqul Islam insisted on stringent punishment to environment polluters.
Punishment will discourage pollution, thus turning Dhaka into a livable city, said Rizvi at a webinar organised to launch a project of a consortium led by Waterkeepers Bangladesh on Thursday.
The project titled"Promoting democratic governance and collective advocacy for environment protection in Dhaka city" will do policy advocacy with the government. Different government agencies and NGOs are engaged in the project. Jahangirnagar University and Stamford University Bangladesh will conduct the research work to gather pollution data.
Rizvisaid, "Much of the pollutants come from industries. On the one hand, our industries are important for our growth and economic development."
There is, however, no way to justify pollution of the environment in such a reckless manner, he added.
Not using Effluent Treatment Plant is unacceptable. The fines are nominal, Rizvi said, adding that the ministries and the agencies overseeing the matter have not been given enough power to make sure the nominal fees get paid.
"We need to strengthen them. we need to increase penalties."
The Dhaka North mayor said, "There is no alternative to punishment. Industrial waste is responsible for 50% of river (Buriganga) pollution."
Atiqul mixed anempty threat with his dark humour. He threatened to block the sewerage lines with banana tree trunks to initiate a backflow in the pipes to flood the houses ofpowerful and rich landlords. "I'm coming with banana trees. I'll first punish those who have hundreds of crores of taka."