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Environment minister: Brick kilns responsible for 58% air pollution in Dhaka

  • Published at 08:47 pm February 14th, 2019
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The new ordinance allows brick field owners to set up brick kilns in front of Local Government and Engineering Department (LGED) roads Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Noting that various diseases, including cancer, are on the rise in the country, he said the government is firmly committed to changing the situation

Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin said the brick kilns located around Dhaka city are responsible for 58% of its air pollution.

“The government has taken a strong stance against polluters….we are not getting expected results due to various difficulties,” he told a stakeholders’ workshop on the “Draft Clean Air Act for Bangladesh” held at Hotel Intercontinental in Dhaka on Thursday.

 The Department of Environment (DoE), Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (Bela) and Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) jointly organized the workshop.

 Speaking as the chief guest, Shahab Uddin said the government is committed to protecting the country’s environment and that is why it has strengthened legal structures to do so.

Citing the findings of a World Bank’s study, he said apart from brick kilns, growing number of vehicles and construction work are also contributing to the air pollution.

Noting that various diseases, including cancer, are on the rise in the country, he said the government is firmly committed to changing the situation.

 As per the government’s commitment made in its election manifesto, the environment minister said it has been taking various measures to check air pollution in the country.

 “It is quite impossible for the government to protect the country’s environment alone. Your cooperation is a must to save the environment,” he added.

 Deputy Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Habibun Nahar said brick kilns are being set up indiscriminately polluting the air across the country.

 “Many brick kilns have no environmental clearance to produce bricks violating environmental rules,” she said.

 Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry’s Additional Secretary Dr SM Munjurul Hannan Khan, DoE Director General Dr Sultan Ahmed, Buet Prof Dr Md Ali Ahammad Shoukat Chowdhury and Bela Chief Executive Syeda Rizwana Hasan spoke at the event.