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Don't destroy the Sundarbans' ecology

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01st-Jul-2019       
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THE Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister on Saturday told the Parliament that five air-polluting cement factories have received environmental clearances in the Mongla Port industrial areas near the Sundarbans. Although the government declared 10-kilometre areas surrounding the Sundarbans Reserve Forest as an ecologically-critical area, the approved factories are located only six kilometres away from the mangrove forest. The cement factories are: Meghna, Bashundhara, Holcim (Bangladesh), Dubai-Bangla, and Mongla Cement Mills. The factories owned by large conglomerates have secured approval to pollute the air and destroy the forest only for making a profit.
The Minister said Department of Environment regularly monitors the factories and provides suggestions to their entrepreneurs so that the industrial units cannot pollute the environment. Despite taking adequate steps to maintain an optimum level of safety by the companies, we know there is no assurance of not having an accident. The new factories will be polluting the resident of endangered Royal Bengal Tiger, the national animal. The Department of Environment has so far permitted at least 190 industrial plants around the Sundarbans claiming that those factories have taken enough precautions to prevent pollution. Of these plants, there are at least 24 red category industries, meaning that may cause great harm to the ecology of the Sundarbans.
The twenty-first-century capitalism can yield profit from any crisis. Not just it exploits the crisis for profiteering interest, it even gives birth to a crisis to come up with a business solution. It pollutes the environment first and then offers costly technology and medicine as environmental mitigation. Such practice is responsible for deepening the crisis all over the world and the case of Bangladesh is no different.
We think the authorities concerned have learnt no lessons from the impact of industrialisation in different parts of the globe, including the neighbouring state of West Bengal in India. The industrial units located on the Gangetic delta in the Haldia Port-cum-Industrial complex on the Hoogly River, and in the eastern metropolis of Kolkata and its outskirts, are already contributing to the pollution of the Sundarbans. Now, Bangladesh's part of the planet's largest mangrove forest would be endangered due to impractical policy of the government.

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