Toxic industrial waste pollutes water in Mymensingh

Untreated toxic waste from several dyeing factories and yarn mills in Mymensingh dumped into the River Khiru and several canals has given rise to severe water pollution in the area. The Shepherd Yarn Ltd, MFP Dyeing, K & K Top Textiles, Colour Master Lab, MC Dyeing, and the Amart Dyeing Ltd are located around the river and the canals. Continued dumping of toxic waste from these factories into the water bodies has turned the water of the river and the canals under Bhaluka upazila yellow.

Malodour of chemicals and dyeing materials always emanates from these water sources. Local people said the number of fishes in the Khiru and in several canals have declined over the years because of the pollution. Farmers of the area said they were unable to use the water of the river and the canals for irrigation because of the high level of toxicity of the water.

Some farmers installed deep tube wells to irrigate their lands. According to the fisheries department sources, there are 329 water bodies under Bhaluka upazila covering 16,000 hectares of land, of which 6,000 hectares are exposed to the pollution. All the water bodies of this region will be bereft of fishes soon if the dumping of industrial waste into the water continues, the sources warned.

Officials of several dyeing factories contradicted the newspaper reports that claimed untreated waste from these establishments was polluting the water of the River Khiru and the canals. They said they had installed water treatment plants in their factories and hence the allegations of polluting the river and the canals could not stand. An official of the Shepherd Yarn Ltd argued that the farmers of the area would have come to them to complain about the pollution if the allegation was true but none has come so far. But some local people pointed to a number of dead palm trees and blamed the polluted water for them (Source: New Age , 24 August, 2005)

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