Monday, January 22, 2018 | ePaper

Widespread pollution in the capital continues

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UNABATED air, water, sound and other environmental pollution in and around the capital continues to shoot up at an alarming level. We have repeatedly penned to deter the rate of environmental and noise pollution of Dhaka. However, now more than the pollution --- the government's appalling indifference to address the issue worries us all --- particularly the city dwellers and the environmentalists.

Development activities of government agencies without conservation measures have been quickening the pace of environmental degradation. Smoke and dust released by brick kilns made the capital one of the world's most polluted metropolis in 2017. Unrestrained vehicular smoke also contributed to this situation. To cut a long story short, in 2017 air pollution caused huge sufferings to the capital's inhabitants as all other pollutions rose phenomenally. We all know about the causes of pollution, yet government's authorities concerned appear evidently helpless. We are somewhat forced to ask, is the government waiting for an environmental disaster to struck and then respond to it?

Also the government's lack of commitment to address the issue is mainly responsible for the unabated degradation of the capital's environment. It becomes more obvious since a number of the tannery factories are still clandestinely operating at Hazaribagh. Department of Environment's Air Quality Index reports certified about the dangerous air quality more than a year ago. Yet little action was taken despite a number of laws being in place.

According to more than 50 renowned physicians in the capital, numbers of Bronchitis, Asthma and Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients are fast increasing because of unimpeded extreme air pollution. Mostly six-month old children and countless old people have been identified as asthma patients while adults above 40 are becoming victims of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, in short COPD. This has mainly happened due to inhaling smoky and polluted air. And now given this winter's cold, dry and foggy weather - the situation has worsened.

As far as water pollution is concerned, dumping untreated sewer by DWASA is still polluting all the four rivers inside and surrounding Dhaka. And on the topic of noise pollution : Blaring sound from electronic horns, indiscriminate usage of mikes at public meetings, noise from construction activities, as well as factories are increasing sound pollution. Since August, there has been no compliance of the ban imposed by the High Court Division on the use of hydraulic horns and its directive on enforcement agencies to remove these horns within 48 hours.

The point, however, we believe it is time the government sincerely admits its failure and includes the public and other national and international organisations to collectively combat the pollution menace. The city dwellers have been made sufferers and victims of all sorts of pollution for too long. Now it should end.


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