Prime Minister's International Affairs Adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi today said that industries are important for economic growth and development, but there is no excuse behind polluting the environment recklessly.
"Most of the pollution is coming from the industries, bound by government regulations to ensure that ETP (effluent treatment plant) is installed and operated, but they're not doing so. That's unacceptable, and as a society, we must demand from them. There has to be societal responsibility."
He was speaking as the chief guest at the launching event of Waterkeepers Bangladesh's Anti-Pollution Advocacy Project held virtually this morning.
Dr Rizvi urged the environment ministry to enforce monetary punishment on polluters and ensure fines are collected promptly.
Addressing the webinar as the chief guest, Dr Rizvi said, "For environment, we're all united. The prime minister has been endlessly speaking on the issue and building Bangladesh's fund for the environment without waiting for the international community to raise fund."
He also said that public interest litigation is also playing a great role in environmental protection, and the courts showed they're open to the matter.
During the launching programme, Habibun Nahar, deputy minister of the ministry of environment, forest and climate change; Atiqul Islam, mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation; Judith Herbertson, Development Director of Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office; Professor Mohammad Ali Naqi, vice-chancellor of Stamford University Bangladesh; and Marc Yaggi, executive director of Waterkeeper Alliance, spoke as special guests.
The programme was chaired by Sultana Kamal, chairperson of Blue Planet Initiative (BPI), and moderated by the consortium lead and BPI Executive Director Sharif Jamil, while Prof Dr Nurul Islam of Jahangirnagar University addressed the vote of thanks, Mainuddin Ahmed, chief of Promoting Advocacy and Rights (PAR) gave the welcome speech.