Raninagar (Naogaon) Correspondent:
It has been alleged that about 40 tons of guava was wasted in the garden due to toxic smoke from an illegal lead factory in the 2nd Slitch Gate area of Mirat Union in Raninagar Upazila of Naogaon. Several cows also died in the area due to the toxic smoke. Locals allege that the smoke from illegal factories in the open has caused environmental pollution and health risks, but administration officials are not taking any visible action. As a result, the locals are facing environmental and extreme health risks and losses.
It has been learned on the spot that a gang has been illegally setting up an open factory near the switch gate No. 2 of the Raninagar-Bandaikhara main road of the upazila to make lead with old batteries. I bought old batteries from different areas, filled the car and brought it. After evening, I went there all night to burn lead in the fire. However, the cycle was completed before the morning. The toxic fumes and odors of battery acid are seriously polluting the environment. It has been alleged that there are about five thousand orchards near the place. Due to the effect of toxic smoke, the fruits in these gardens are turning black and rotting. Besides, the leaves of the plants are fading and dying. According to the locals, about 4 cows in the area also died after the locals came to the area around the factory to feed the cows and eat the grass. However, protesting against these issues is not yielding any results. Even the people in the administration are not taking any action.
Garden and project owner Abdul Quddus Mandal said he was born in Bhatghar Para village of Bagmara upazila in Rajshahi. He came to the area two years ago to do business, bought land and leased it, digging 9 ponds on about 150 bighas of land in the same place and cultivating fish. He has set up orchards across the ponds side by side. His garden has about 1,200 Thai guavas, 250 mangoes, 100 bedanas, 2,500 lemons and several banana trees. When these trees start to bear fruit, all the fruits turn black and rot due to the toxic smoke of the lead factory before the fruits grow big. He said more than 40 tonnes of guavas have been destroyed so far. Besides, millions of rupees worth of fruits including Bedena, Mango, Banana, Lemon are being wasted. Telling the factory owner several times did not work.
Shahadat Hossain of Kalikapur village said one of his cows also died due to eating grass on the side of the factory. In addition, three more cows died in the area.
Meanwhile, no statement could be obtained as the accused could not find the name of the specified owner of the factory or any of the people involved in the lead making cycle.
Raninagar Upazila Agriculture Officer Shahidul Islam said the toxic fumes from lead factories contain a lot of carbon. As a result, due to the effect of smoke, the fruit turns black and rots. In the meantime, I have asked the OC of the police station to close this factory.
Raninagar Upazila Health Officer Dr. KHM Iftekharul Alam Khan said that the toxic smoke of lead causes various complex diseases including inflammation and cancer in the human body. In addition, there is severe damage to animals, birds and plants.
In this regard, Raninagar Upazila Nirbahi Officer Sushant Kumar Mahato said, “I have heard about the lead factory made with batteries.” Action will be taken against them according to the law to close the factory.