Simon Maxwell, former Director, Overseas Development Institute (ODI), London and Chair, European Think-Tanks Group visited the river Buriganga and ongoing Tannery Pollution along with Sharif Jamil, Buriganga Riverkeeper on 15th January 2016. They discussed aboutencroachme nt and pollution to the river, particularly about the untreated waste disposal from 250 tannery industries to the Buriganga from Hazaribag area.
Government and tannery owners adopted an agreement in 2003 about relocating to Savar under a Central Effluent Treatment Plant (CEPT). But none of the factories has been relocated yet. Recently the Minister for the Ministry of Labor gave an ultimatum of 72 hours to the tannery owners to relocate their factories.
Among others, Dr. S M Munzurul Hannan Khan, Advisor, Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) was with the team during the visit.
Sharif Jamil, welcomed a eight member team to the patrol boat and started from the Sadarghat Terminal at 10.30am after a short briefing at the lounge of the terminal. On the way to the starting point of the river at Bosila, he showed the faulty demarcation pillars, ongoing encroachments and discharging of untreated pollutants to the river along with the full grabbing of the 2nd channel. Simon Maxwell observed the life and livelihoods around the river Buriganga with serious concerns in terms of public health and right to water. The team also visited Haikkar Khal that carries untreated waste directly to the river Buriganga.
Today (16 January 2016) in “CPD Anniversary Lecture 2015”, Simon Maxwell discussed about the pollution to the river Buriganga and called the business community to come forward with their responsibility to protect the global water during his lecture on “Climate Compatible Development, Pathway or Pipedream?”