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.
In July, Dhaka was ranked 23rd in the list of polluted cities, however, it reached eighth as of Friday.
Due to the pandemic, the air itself was allowed to breathe due to the restrictions announced by the government all over the country but it has started to climb the ladder of pollution once again.
According to IQAir, a US-based global air quality testing company, the average air quality in Dhaka city in the last 10 days was 162.8 micro grams which is considered ‘unhealthy’ according to standard guidelines.
According to IQAir’s quality index, zero to 50 is considered 'good', 51 to 100 is considered 'moderate', 101 to 150 is 'unhealthy for sensitive groups', 151 to 200 is 'unhealthy', 200 to 300 is 'very unhealthy' and over 300 is considered to be 'dangerous'.
The major factors behind the increase in air pollution include lack of urban planning, limitation of law and its enforcement, geographical factors and population density.
In addition, road digging, emission of black smoke from cars, carbon monoxide, from brick kilns and industrial plants, burning of garbage in open space heavily contribute to the deterioration of air quality as well.
Syeda Rizwana Hasan, chief executive of Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA) has recently told Bangladesh Post, “It is very hot at present and everything has dried up due to the scorching sun. As a result, there is more dust in the air”.
“With the considerably improvement of the Covid-19 pandemic, the movement of people has increased. On the other hand, the influx of people towards Dhaka has come back as well which could lead to cause poor air quality,” she said.
According to experts, construction work is going on in full swing at present in many places of the capital city. This heavily aids in increasing pollution.