Winter has set in, and what affects the people of this capital during this season is its severe air pollution. There is nothing new in the fact that the current degree of contaminating materials in the air of Dhaka is very high. It is also known to us that every year, especially from November to February, air pollution rises up to a seriously harmful phase. However, a lot of news reports, regarding Dhaka’s air pollution, are published in the media regularly to create awareness of the fact that Dhaka’s air pollution has reached a damaging level and that measures must be taken as immediately as possible to at least survive in this capital city, home to over 200 million people.
However, it is all too common a scenario that the Department of Environment (DoE) organises meetings, officials of various government agencies gather in those meetings and discuss the issue with utmost enthusiasm. But things go as usual once they get back their homes. Such a repetitive fashion is going on year after year. A media report has recently claimed that Dhaka’s air pollution has reached a ‘severely harmful’ level for human health quoting the Department of Environment that Dhaka’s air quality index was dangerously 269. Experts compare that the condition of air pollution in Dhaka resembles that in Delhi — the most polluted city in the world. We, too, know the causes of air pollution in Dhaka: There are many unbridled brick fields around the metropolis, and the high number of diesel-run and expired vehicles in the streets. There is no visible step in preventing indiscriminate digging of roads and dusts produced during construction works. Even, there are various types of factories in the city. So, it is not a matter of determining what steps should be taken to reduce air pollution in Dhaka. The coordinated efforts of all organizations concerned, including DoE, Bangladesh Road Transport Authority, Dhaka Metropolitan Police, Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha, two City Corporations and Dhaka WASA, are enough to curb the danger.
There is no way but to do it. Because, inhabitants find it almost impossible to survive in this metropolis due to severe air pollution. Experts have warned that it would be difficult to find healthy people in this city at a certain period of time if the current trend of pollution in Dhaka is not addressed as soon as possible. So, it needs actions not just high talks. Pragmatic steps should be taken to provide the citizens room to survive.