• Friday, May 07, 2021
  • Last Update : 12:23 pm

Minister vows tough fight against air pollution in Dhaka

  • Published at 12:54 pm December 23rd, 2020
Air Pollution-Dhaka
Air pollution in Dhaka Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Mobile court drives to be conducted, says minister

As the air quality in Dhaka has deteriorated with the advent of winter, the government has decided to conduct mobile court drives to curb the level of air pollution.

Environment, Forests and Climate Change Minister Md Shahabuddin has disclosed this in an interview with UNB over the government’s steps to reduce the air pollution in the megacity.  

“Letters have been sent to the two Dhaka city corporations with some directives to bring down the level of air pollution caused by construction works of roads, buildings and metro rail projects,” he said.

Shahabuddin said the government asked the two city corporations to spray water on a regular basis on the city roads.  

Construction of big infrastructures in Dhaka has been the main culprit behind the air pollution, the minister said, adding that brick kilns, road construction, black fumes from vehicles, construction work and wastes of the city corporations are also contributing to air pollution.  

“Many buildings are being built keeping the construction materials uncovered alongside roads which is one of the main sources of dust. In developed countries, construction works are done with necessary protective measures to reduce pollution. The same rule also exists in Bangladesh but nobody cares due to lack of proper monitoring,” said Shahabuddin.

He said construction works across the city are responsible for producing both outdoor and indoor air pollution.   

The chaotic system of dumping domestic wastes and mismanagement in sewerage waste also contribute to the air quality fall, said the minister.  

Shahabuddin stressed the need for coordinated measures for combating air pollution in the city.  

“We should abide by the environmental rules in every small and big construction work for avoiding air pollution. We’re much stricter this time and stringent measures will be taken in this regard, if needed,” the minister said.  

Though the government has taken steps to conduct mobile courts to prevent air pollution, it is likely to be hampered by lack of manpower, he added.  

In an effort to extend the activities of the Department of Environment (DoE), the government has recently approved a proposal for setting up DoE offices in 43 districts, including Rangpur and Mymensingh divisional offices.  

The authorities concerned are involved in measuring the air quality round the clock and it is found that the air quality worsens from September to March.  

Brick kilns around the Dhaka city caused most air pollution and the government has started work to convert the existing brick kilns in the country into energy-saving and environment-friendly ones with advanced technologies.

To make the plan a success, the government has made block brick mandatory in different government and private construction work, he said.  

The cent % use of block bricks will be ensured in all private infrastructure constructions in phases after 2025, he said.  

The DoE has been conducting drives against the illegal brick kilns for months and also slapping fines.

Air pollution in Dhaka  

Bangladesh, one of the most densely-populated countries in the world, has been struggling with air pollution for a long time.  

In many cases, Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, is often found to be one of the most polluted cities in the world in global indices.  

The smoke emitted from the local brick kilns around Dhaka city, the construction work of many development activities including the metro rail project, black fog coming from unfit vehicles have been identified as the major sources of air pollution in the country.  

A research report by the DoE and the World Bank published in March last year on the sources of air pollution in Bangladesh identified three main sources -- brick kilns, fumes of vehicles and dust from construction sites.

Consequences of Air Pollution  

The constant air pollution has very negative effects both on nature and on human health.  It causes, as experts say, cardiovascular problems, allergies, asthma attacks, conjunctivitis, bronchial diseases, lung or skin cancers, vision problems, blood problems in the mental development of the child, among others.  Pregnant women, children and elderly ones are always the most vulnerable in addition to those who are sick.   

Covid-19 and Air Pollution  

Health experts have also warned that dirty air during this winter may help Covid-19 turn deadlier in terms of mortality rate.  

The World Health Organization (WHO) has also recently cautioned that the cities which have a higher level of air pollution should reinforce their preparedness against the deadly corona pandemic.  

The experts said the government should immediately take effective preventive measures to contain the virus infection as well as combat air pollution during the winter.   

Facebook 54
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail