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12:07 pm | July 13, 2024
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dhaka residents are warned to avoid the horrors of air pollution
Bangladesh Environment Pollution

Dhaka residents are warned to avoid the horrors of air pollution

Dhaka residents are warned to avoid the horrors of air pollution

A letter has been sent to the Department of Environment, Bangladesh, to start an alert system to protect Dhaka residents from the dangers of air pollution.

On December 31, 2023, the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA) sent this letter to the Director General of the Environment Directorate, Bangladesh, to implement the High Court directive. According to the letter, the capital Dhaka, which is home to more than 22 million people, lags in environmental standards in various international and national indicators

Dhaka is ranked seventh on the list of unfit cities in the world. Dhaka city air is often identified as the top polluted air in the world, posing a threat to public health. BELLA filed a public interest case to control Dhaka’s air pollution.

On February 15, 2022, the ruling was issued questioning why the defendants’ failure to control air pollution and protect public health should not be declared illegal, extrajudicial, and against the public interest. It is also sought to know why no directives to control air pollution and improve air quality through a time-bound action plan.

The High Court has ordered to find the main sources of air pollution, create a plan to reduce it, and establish an alert system to protect the public from harmful air.

The letter says that under Rule 13(5) of the Air Pollution (Control) Rules, 2022 if air pollution reaches a very harmful level, the Department of Environment, Bangladesh, will warn people and advise them to take health protection measures.

Rule 15 mentions the constitution of the National Committee on Air Pollution Control. This committee advises the government to restrict public movement in areas with very high air pollution levels and to impose limitations on sources of air pollution.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an air quality index of 151-200 is considered unhealthy for a city. This negatively affects the health of certain city residents, like children, the elderly, and those with respiratory problems.

An air quality or AQI score of 201 to 300 is very unhealthy and is considered a health emergency. Children, the elderly, and sick people should limit activities indoors and outdoors in this situation. An air value of more than 300 means that the air in that place is ‘hazardous’ which is harmful to everyone. But last December 27, Dhaka was identified as the top city of air pollution where the air quality was 325.

There’s no warning system to protect people from breathing dangerous air, ignoring the court’s order. This is breaking the law and showing contempt for the court. For this reason, it has been asked to issue Dhaka a warning on an urgent basis.

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