June 30, 2022, 7:34 pm

Special Correspondent

2022-05-15 15:13:39 BdST

Central effluent treatment plant changes situation at CEPZ overnight

The potentials of the Chittagong Export Processing Zone remained under-utilized initially because developed countries were reluctant to invest here due to the lack of world class ecosystem, especially because of poor waste disposal and lack of polluted water treatment system.

But the situation has changed with the installation of a state of the art affluent central treatment system for polluted water which has not only removed the negative outlook but also inspired many to bring investment here overnight.

It all started as Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) hired Chittagong Waste Treatment Plant (CWTP) to overcome this dirty situation.

It started installing the Central Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) in 2008.

Preserving the industry-friendly environment, we bring modern technology and foreign machines for the plant, said CWTP's CEO Md Ariful Haque Talukdar to maintain proper environment and ensure health of workers. .

The company formally started rendering services in 2012 and only five industries initially listed for this service.

"When the news of the qualitative service of the CWTP spread; many foreign companies enlisted under this service.
At present 139 factories of Chittagong EPZ are availing of this service," Ariful said.

The EPZ ranks fourth in the world with the best economic potential out of 700 world economic zones.

This affluent treatment initiative in the EPZ was mainly taken to ensure the people's good health, the responsibility towards environment and the industrial workers. Although it was very challenging due to lack of skilled manpower and sufficient experience, the CWPT's CEO said.

"Our main job is to purify contaminated water. We purify the polluted water of EPZ factories from certain canals and discharge it into the sea. As per the policy of the Department of Environment, we treat the contaminated water of the factory through effluent treatment," he said.

"We use world class technology and chemicals to purify the water. We are capable of refining 450,00 cubic meters water per day. But, currently, we are treating 15,000 cubic meters water per day," he added.

The CETP is running in many EPZs of the country. However, the flagship company of Singapore has been providing services to almost 100 percent of Dhaka EPZ's industrial network and Sigma Engineering Central of Bangladesh is providing effluent treatment services at Comilla EPZ.

"Around 90 percent of the industrial establishments of the CEPZ are under our service. Hopefully, the remaining 10 percent will receive this service in a few days," the CWPT's CEO said.

"Protecting the environment with the country's prosperous economy is a global challenge. Now, quality of life of workers and factory environment are seen first and foremost with production all over the world," he said.

"If everything is not environment-friendly, foreigners do not want to invest there. So, we must think first a healthy environment to build a livable country for the next generation and no alternative to this to build eco-friendly industries," he said.

"If the government gives us the opportunity, we will be able to provide this service in other economic zones with our long experience and capability," Ariful said.

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