Dust and pollutants in the air have increased a lot
By Zeba Tarannum
The winter has come a little earlier this year in Bangladesh. Usually, winter comes every year at the end of November, but it’s too early. Meanwhile, the amount of dust and contaminated material has increased a lot before the onset of winter. The air in the capital has become unhealthy.
The air quality of the country’s 11 major cities is monitored daily by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. It turns out that the air quality in the capital was very unhealthy on November 9, 2020.
Apart from this, Rangpur, Rajshahi, Barisal, and Gazipur have also reached unhealthy levels. The rest of Chattogram, Sylhet, Khulna, and Cumilla were in a state of alert. Usually, due to fog in winter, the air is filled with water vapor, and it accumulates small harmful materials for the human body. This time, as the winter started earlier, the particles started gathering rapidly in the air.
According to the international air quality monitoring agency Air Visual, Dhaka was ranked 12th among the world’s major cities at 7 pm on Monday, November 9, 2020. Delhi, Lahore, and Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia were at the top of the most polluted air cities.
The air quality would remain unhealthy from November 10 to 12, 2020, if no action is taken to prevent air pollution in Dhaka. Before the onset of winter, unhealthy air in the capital, older adults, and children are urged to wear masks, and windows should be kept closed to prevent polluted air from entering the house.
“The air quality is deteriorating rapidly due to the low temperature and the increase in fog,” said Ziaul Haque, Director (Air Quality Division), Department of Environment. “However, since last year, we have started to shut down illegal brickfields, one of the main sources of air pollution. This year, besides brick kilns, strict measures will be taken to control construction dust and vehicle fumes”.
Meanwhile, the Meteorological Department forecasted that the weather would be mainly dry in most parts of the country on November 10, 2020. There was no chance of rain at the moment. Light fog might fall in the riverine areas of the country.
The lowest temperature in the country on November 0, 2020, was at Tertulia in Panchagarh, at 12.6 degrees Celsius. The minimum temperature in the capital was 20.1 degrees Celsius. Air pollution usually increased in such weather.
Kamruzzaman Majumder, director of the Center for Atmospheric Pollution Studies (CAPS) at Stamford University, told the Prothom Alo that plans should be taken to control air pollution in the country’s major cities, including the capital, from November every year. In addition to the city corporation, law enforcement has vehicles to spray water.
They should be used to control dust pollution. He urged to be stricter in controlling the construction and vehicle dust.