A Department of Environment (DoE) team yesterday ordered a dyeing factory in Munshiganj to keep it shut until it installs an effluent treatment plant and fined it Tk 38.40 lakh for polluting the river Dhaleshwari.
DoE Director (monitoring and enforcement) Munir Chowdhury accompanied by members of Rapid Action Battelion-11 raided Ideal Textile Mill and found that the factory was discharging untreated liquid waste through a pipe into the river.
The team tested the toxic waste and detected that oxygen level was only 2.37 mg per litre and pH level 14 while oxygen level in water should range between 4.5 and 4.8 mg per litre and pH level between 6 and 9.
The water of Dhaleswari at the spot, where liquid waste was being released, was found to have 2.05 mg of oxygen per litre and pH level 12.2.
Every day the factory discharges 500 cubic metre of liquid waste, said team members.
The factory was ordered to stop releasing waste into the river immediately and all dyeing activities within the next 12 hours.
Manager Shafiul Alam and other factory workers admitted that the factory is responsible for polluting the river.
The DoE had earlier warned the factory several times but the authorities paid no heed, said DoE sources.
Twenty years ago, the factory got permission for operation after it gave an undertaking to the DoE that it would follow all environmental laws, said Munir Chowdhury. But since then, it has been running without any environment management programme.
The DoE team asked the factory authorities to pay the fine by today noon and install an ETP by August 30, 2011.