Dhaka’s air pollution: HC asks what steps have been taken

The High Court on Tuesday wanted to know the steps taken to prevent air pollution in Dhaka and asked the authorities concerned including the Department of Environment to inform about it on February 5.

The HC bench of Justice KM Kamrul Kader and Justice Mohammad Ali passed the order after hearing a petition seeking implementation of the court orders in this regard.

Senior lawyer Manzill Murshid stood for the petitioner while Amatul Karim and Syed Ahmed Raza represented the Department of Environment and Dhaka South City Corporation, respectively.

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The HC issued the nine-point directive on January 13, 2020 after hearing a writ petition filed by the Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB).

Murshid filed a petition seeking implementation of the higher court’s nine-point directive on Monday.

For the past several days, it has been reported that Dhaka has ranked the worst in the air quality index in the world, he said.

In New Delhi, the government imposed an emergency situation when it experienced the worst air quality in the world but the authorities in Dhaka have no worries about it, he said.

The nine-point directive of the High Court includes

• Ensuring the use of covers on trucks or other vehicles that transport sand or soil in the capital, Dhaka.

• Contractors should cover the construction sites

• Taking steps to sprinkle water on Dhaka roads

• Ensuring complete road construction or excavation work or carpeting complying with laws, rules and terms and conditions of the agreement.

• To seize those vehicles involved in emitting black smoke.

• To fix the economic life of vehicles plying on roads as per the Road Transport Act 2018 and to impose ban on movement of unfit vehicles.

• To shut down the illegal brick fields which are operating without licence and submit a report within two months.

• Stop burning of tyres and recycling of vehicles’ batteries without approval from the DoE.

• Taking steps to ensure that all the market owners or shopkeepers keep their garbage in bags and the city corporations were asked to remove those after the shops or markets are closed.

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The HRPB filed a writ petition attaching a report published in different newspapers on January 21, 2019 on air pollution in Dhaka.

Source: United News of Bangladesh