Minister blames mega infrastructure projects for Dhaka’s air pollution

News Desk
16 February 2020, Sun
Published: 09:55 Updated: 10:24

Minister blames mega infrastructure projects for Dhaka’s air pollution

Environment Minister M Shahab Uddin on Sunday said the air quality of Dhaka city has turned worse between 2016 and 2019 as works on various large infrastructure projects saw a sharp rise during the period.

He made the remark while responding to a query from Awami League MP Manjur Hossain from Faridpur-1 in Parliament.

The minister said brick kilns, vehicles, construction of different infrastructures and road digging, civic waste, biomass and trans-boundary influence are responsible for the air pollution in the capital.

He, however, said the government has taken various short-, mid- and long-term plans to control the air pollution. “The government has already shut down around 600 brick kilns across the country. All illegal brick kilns will be closed down gradually.”

As part of the short-term plan, the government ensured checking of the emission level of vehicles while providing fitness certificates, Shahab Uddin said, adding that the government has also ensured waste management of city corporations and stopped burning of waste.

As part of the mid-term plan, he said, the government has taken measures to set up high-speed water sprinklers at different hotspots of Dhaka city to control the air pollution through spraying water at high speed from very high above.

Besides, the government will set up dust suckers and introduce vacuum sweeping trucks instead of manual broom to clean roads, the minister said.

As part of the long-term plan, he said, the government has also taken various measures, including enacting a complete Clean Air Act-2020, for effectively dealing with the entire air pollution.

Replying to a query from Awami League MP from Dhaka-7 Haji Mohammad Salim, Shabab Uddin said the government created forest on 94,939 hectares and brought 71,456 kms under forestation in the last 36 years since 1982 through social forestation and involving local helpless and poor people.

He also said the government distributed around Tk 356.82 crore among 6.78 lakh people who were engaged in the social forestation during the period. Source: UNB