Towards a Framework for an Integrated Industrial Effluent Management System: A Case Study on the River Buriganga, Bangladesh
Industrialization, a prerequisite for socio-economic development of any country, comes at a great cost to the environment and the society. However, the growing consciousness at the global level has produced a new concept of pollution management in different sectors of economic activities around the world. In the new concept, conventional industrial effluent control which focuses on ‘command and control’ approach is being replaced by market and participatory based proactive approaches. This paradigm shift has been of success in many industrialized and developed countries. However, so far the response to the new concept in developing countries, including Bangladesh is mixed and at the same time lots of confusions and disagreements exist regarding the formulation of strategies for industrial effluent control in those countries. The Buriganga river of Bangladesh, which has been chosen as a case study for this research, is of great economic importance to Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh and is threatened by excessive industrial pollution. The once mighty River Buriganga, which has been the centre of great social, political and economic expansion for the last four hundred years, is now a ‘dying’ river and the situation will worsen unless alternate management systems are adapted urgently to reverse the trend. This issue is analyzed in this paper through an interdisciplinary approach which integrates social, economic and environmental dimensions holistically. Firstly, the paper presents a review and evaluation of the existing industrial effluent control system in Bangladesh. Secondly, the potential of an integrated industrial effluent management system are discussed, and a management framework is recommended for improving process performance and reliability. Institutional capacity and limitations for efficient industrial effluent management are also addressed in this study. The methodology of this research includes collection of basic background data pertaining to industrial water pollution control practices through content analysis and direct observation.
Keywords: Industrial Effluent, Integrated Management, Bangladesh
Md. Ashiqur Rahman
PhD Candidate, Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, The University of Sydney