The High Court in Bangladesh has ordered the government not to approve any more factories or industrial units within 10km of the Sundarbans.
It has given the government six months to file a list of existing industrial units within the 10km radius of the world’s largest mangrove forest.
The orders came on Thursday after the court heard a writ petition filed by Sheikh Faridul Islam, chairman of Save the Sundarbans Foundation.
His counsel Sheikh Md Zakir Hossain said it has been reported in the media that the Department of Environment has recently given its green light to about 150 factories within 10km of the forest.
The court has issued a rule asking why the new factories will not be removed and the order for their approvals will not be deemed illegal under a 1999 government order that banned factories within 10km.
Secretaries to the ministries of environment and home, chief of environment department and administration chiefs of districts around the forest are respondents to the rule.
The petition says, the government in 1999 declared the 10km radius of the forest as a reserved area. Later, it was declared as an ecologically risky area in the Environment Protection Act.
It claims that the clearance to set up the factories has violated the law.