Editorial

Dhaka among the cities with most polluted air

Formulate new policies to improve the capital’s air quality


Published : 16 Oct 2021 09:20 PM | Updated : 17 Oct 2021 12:14 PM

Pollution and environmental challenges have occupied life and livelihood of the Dhakaities to a greater extent. Dhaka has been ranked first or second in the list of the cities of most polluted air in the last few years but made significant improvements throughout the current year. However, it has returned to its previous position in the recent days. As reported by this daily on Saturday, In July, Dhaka was ranked 23rd in the list of polluted cities, however, it reached eighth as of Friday. Such a severe air quality rating for Dhaka should force the authorities concerned towards a decisive shift in policy.

In Dhaka, with every breath we take, we inhale a number of toxic matters. Studies show that Dhaka’s air is contaminated not only with heavy metals like lead, chromium, cadmium, nickel, arsenic, manganese and copper, but also with other poisonous particles. Air pollution used to take nearly 8,000 lives a year just three years back, now it causes death to more than 1 lakh people every year. Also, the current level of air pollution is responsible for the rise of various diseases like lung problems, cancer, respiratory  problems etc.

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Air pollution has turned 

into a major public health 

concern in the capital


The construction of the fastest growing megacity coupled with mismanagement is the reason why city dwellers have to suffer from severe air pollution throughout the year. Dhaka’s inherently dusty air is made worse by countless unregulated construction sites and the production of bricks and concrete to feed them. Air pollution has turned into a major public health concern in the capital and because of construction work going on the year round there is no sign of the situation improving any time soon. Hence, necessary laws should immediately be implemented to compel the builders, constructors, and construction workers to build roads and buildings following rules and regulations. Air pollution should be a key issue that authorities concerned must address in the sphere of sustainable construction, indeed not only for the sake of environment, but also public health. . 

Authorities concerned including the policymakers should understand and underscore the need for formulating new policies to improve the capital's air quality. City authorities should ensure good governance, devise appropriate plans and strictly enforce laws to reduce the extreme pollution in Dhaka. We need strong commitments and actions from everyone: government, policymakers, civil society, the private sector and even the individual.

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