With millions leaving Dhaka for Eid and fewer vehicles plying the streets, the capital’s air quality saw a significant improvement. According to AirVisual report published on Saturday, Dhaka ranked 20th among the most polluted cities in Air Quality Index (AQI). However, the level of air pollution in Dhaka is so alarming that the city is often ranked among the most polluted ones. Brick kilns, unfit vehicles, dust from roads and construction sites, and toxic fumes from industries are the major sources of air pollution. But during Eid holidays, brick kilns and industries remain out of operation, fewer vehicles ply the roads and construction activities stay suspended, which resulted in the improvement. However, with millions of people pouring in after celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr, the capital is going to get back to its regular picture of traffic jam and air pollution soon.
We feel that city authorities including
two city corporations should devise appropriate plans,
ensure good governance and strictly enforce laws
to reduce extreme pollution in Dhaka
A new study conducted by Two US based institutes–Health Effects Institute (HEI) and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) says that indoor and outdoor air pollution caused deaths of at least 1.23 lakh people in Bangladesh in 2017. It is not only people that suffer. Air pollution also damages nature and biodiversity. Clean air and water, healthy forests and rivers, and rich flora and fauna are necessary for a high quality of life, and must not be overlooked by policy makers.
The gravity of Dhaka’s air pollution situation calls for an air quality strategy that establishes a very high level of ambition. Applying new and improved emission control techniques must be part of the solution, but minimising the use of fossil fuels is the key to resolving both climate change and air pollution, as it cuts emissions of the main greenhouse gas carbon dioxide as well as those of health-damaging sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, fine particulate matter and mercury.
We, therefore, feel that city authorities including two city corporations should devise appropriate plans, ensure good governance and strictly enforce laws to reduce extreme pollution in Dhaka.