Md Shaikhul Islam Raton

Dust pollution has become a matter of grave concern for city dwellers. People, suffering from respiratory problems and other difficulties are being compelled to cut down outdoor activity.

Unplanned construction work as well as other factors are posing a severe health threat to city life, especially in the dry season. Road dust has become the biggest source of pollution in the capital.

Diesel is also responsible for emissions of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide as well as noxious vapours from oils.

Dhaka alone has over 10 million motorized vehicles and the number is going up every year. Of the total vehicular pollution, 40 to 45 percent comes from two-wheelers and another 30 to 35 percent, from four-wheelers,

Glues, thinners, paints, treated wood, plastics, cleaners and other hazardous chemicals also widely contribute to air pollution. Lack of coordination among the urban agencies like Rajuk, city corporations and Dhaka Wasa, in implementing development projects in the mega city, turns  dust pollution severe as quality is not ensured in road repair.

All construction sites generate high levels of dust especially from concrete, cement, wood, stone, silica which can spread over large areas, and over a long period of time.

According to constitutional rights of the people, any victim and citizen or any institution can sue any responsible person or company for violation of the right and seek compensation or remedial measures.

Experts say, it is only during the monsoon that city dwellers get relief when the dust settles down. However, but it rises again when there is no rainfall for long. The situation takes a turn for the worse in the city’s Shahbag, Mouchak, Malibagh, Moghbazar and Hajipara and Mirpur areas with thick clouds of dust making commuter movement miserable and posing a serious health risk. Health experts say, people exposed to air polluting particles, including cement and sand, also stand the risk of various diseases like cardiovascular, emphysema, bronchitis and asthma, even lung cancer and disorder of the urinary tract. People use masks whenever they step out of their houses.