Bangladesh: Residents claim sugar mill polluting river

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Dhaka: Residents have alleged that the untreated toxic waste from Joypurhat Sugar Mill is polluting Tulshiganga river as the mills have commenced crushing.

Since it’s setting up in 1961, the mill continues without setting up a waste treatment plant. According to the residents, the mill claims of digging a long canal to preserve the toxic material during the crushing season but only for name’s sake. This has affected over 50,000 residents including students and senior citizens.

The locals have stated that the dead fish and other aquatic animals floating on the river and this has led to the spreading of diseases and bad smell around the area. This has also become a safe breeding ground for mosquitoes and flies.

“The untreated effluent flows into the river through Jamalganj drain and sree canal due to which water emits a terrible odour and aquatic animals die due to this,” said a local farmer.

“The water of Tulshiganga river is found with high level of acid and ammonia gas. The water has turned black as it is severely polluted,” said Shahidul Islam, Akkelpur Upazila Agriculture Officer.

Anwar Hossain Akand, Managing Director, Joypurhat Sugar Mill said, “Our effluents are not polluting the river and harming fish as we have built a separate canal for preserving the effluents.” The officials have stated that they are working on to build a waste treatment plant.

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