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Environment minister blames mega infrastructure projects for Dhaka’s air pollution

  • Published at 09:41 pm February 16th, 2020
File Photo of Bangladesh Parliament Syed Zakir Hossain/ Dhaka Tribune

He said the government has taken various short, mid and long-term plans to control the air pollution

Environment Minister M Shahab Uddin has said the air quality of Dhaka city turned worse between 2016 and 2019 due to construction of many mega infrastructure projects.

He made the statement, while responding to a query from Awami League Member of Parliament (MP) Manjur Hossain from Faridpur 1, in Parliament on Sunday.

The minister said brick kilns, vehicles, construction of different infrastructures and road digging, civic waste, biomass and trans-boundary influence are responsible for the air pollution in the capital, reports UNB.

He, however, said the government has taken various short, mid and long-term plans to control the air pollution. 

“The government has already shut down around 600 brick kilns across the country. All illegal brick kilns will be closed down gradually,” he added.

As part of the short-term plan, the government ensured checking of the emission level of vehicles while providing fitness certificates, Shahab Uddin said, adding that the government has also ensured waste management of city corporations and stopped burning of waste.

As part of the mid-term plan, he said, the government has taken measures to set up high-speed water sprinklers at different hotspots of Dhaka city to control the air pollution through spraying water at high speed from very high above.

Besides, the government will set up dust suckers and introduce vacuum sweeping trucks instead of manual broom to clean roads, the minister said.

As part of the long-term plan, he said, the government has also taken various measures, including enacting a complete Clean Air Act 2020, for effectively dealing with the entire air pollution.

Replying to a query from Awami League MP from Dhaka-7 Haji Mohammad Salim, Shahab Uddin said the government created forest on 94,939 hectares and brought 71,456 kms under forestation in the last 36 years since 1982 through social forestation and involving local helpless and poor people.

He also said the government distributed around Tk356.82 crore among 6.78 lakh people who were engaged in the social forestation during the period.