Authorities not serious in reducing urban air pollution
Dr Abdul Matin speaks to Saleem Samad of DOT :
When government authorities are not serious about controlling air pollution, then High Court will continue to issue rulings and show cause notice into deaf ears.
Either the authorities, the Department of Environment, Dhaka North and South City Corporations are incompetent to manage the crisis or they do not have expertise to deal with the situation.
With massive infrastructure development of the government takes pace, coupled with private construction of high-rise commercial buildings and housing and development of utility services will further obviously gain momentum.
Suspended dust particles in urban areas will further invite miseries to people and increase threats of health hazard.
Bangladesh urban towns and cities have sandy soil, unlike in hill towns. This is surely manageable. If we take examples from Kolkata’s air pollution management, then we can also mitigate air pollution.
Bangladesh capital Dhaka, has been ranked highest in the US Air Quality Index (AQI), for having the worst level of air pollution in the world.
The authority should form a panel of experts, who would recommend means to mitigate air pollution in urban areas.
The High Court on Wednesday expressed disappointed as “the [concerned] authorities did not take proper action for preventing the air pollution”.
Earlier the court orders to cover-up construction sites, spraying water and conducting mobile court drives twice a week against offenders causing air pollution in the capital.
Spraying water in dusty streets twice a day will not resolve the acute problem of pollution, as directed by the High Court.
In the year 2000, ICCDR,B is an in-depth study on morbidity and mortality, a team of scientists claimed that it was air pollution is the biggest killer in Dhaka city. After 20 years of the study air pollution has increased manifold in urban areas.
Air pollution kills children, more than passive smoking tobacco. Between 40 and 80 per cent of those excess deaths are caused by heart attacks, strokes and other types of cardiovascular disease underestimated up to now as a driver of smog-related mortality, researchers reported.
Health scientists say: “Smoking is avoidable, but air pollution is not.”
Dr Abdul Matin, General Secretary, Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA)