International Journal of Environment
(ISSN: 2186-6872 (print). 2186-0009 (online))

Relation between Hazaribagh Tannery Industry Development and Buriganga River Pollution in Bangladesh
Banani Biswas and Takeshi Hamada
For several decades, river pollution and fresh water depletion are viewed as one of the top environmental problems in Asian region. The Buriganga River in Bangladesh is subject to severe pollution and considered as one of the worst polluted rivers in the world. Especially, the development of tannery industry at Hazaribagh that has pulled the Bangladesh economy is causing pollution and the disruption of ecosystem to the watershed environment. As a result, the environmental problems are getting worse. According to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) of Bangladesh, export earning from leather sector was US$ 401.64 million in 2009-2010, which was a major foreign exchange earner in Bangladesh economy. But Hazaribagh tannery city, consisting of 196 tanneries is discharging its hazardous effluents everyday directly to the Buriganga without any treatment. This is responsible for the high Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) and low Dissolved Oxygen (DO) values in Buriganga water. Along with the increase in export of leather sector, water quality of Buriganga decreased drastically. Analysing the data collected through this study, it is observed that there is a trade-off relation between export trend of leather sector and DO values in Buriganga water and such relation is a crucial problem for any developing country to continue economic growth. Inadequate wastewater management systems, lack of sewerage and infrastructure facilities in one hand, and lack of capital, education, effective pollution control measures and their strict enforcement on the other, may be largely responsible for this alarming problem and grave situation.
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