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City Corporations reinforce water spraying

Published : 10 Dec 2019 09:13 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 07:57 PM

In the wake of severe dust pollution, two city corporations in Dhaka has strengthened water spraying in city’s different area in order to decrease the creation of dust clouds.

As part of City Corporations’ regular programme, Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) on Tuesday sprayed water at different roads in its territory including Hare Road to reduce dust pollution. And, Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) was seen active in spraying water on roads in areas in and around Uttara of the capital.

As the city always remains blanketed by a thick layer of dust, the situation is becoming bad to worse at the advent of winter, a diametrically opposed situation that would seriously affect the public health.

On another note, construction work is going on at different parts of the capital, which has intensified the formation of dust clouds. As a result, pollution has taken a serious turn due to the construction work of metro rail and Dhaka Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). New Delhi has been the most discussed city for air pollution in recent time. The authority announced environmental emergency in the city more than once. On the other hand, Dhaka experienced worst air quality index, crossing the mark set by Delhi by several times.

Directorate of Environment (DoE), on November 20, issued a public warning notice on air pollution when Dhaka ranked the worst in Air Quality Index (AQI) for the past several days. Public notice of DoE stated that the particle matters coming from road dust and soil dust, vehicles, burning of biomass, orthodox brick kilns around and inside the capital are responsible for air pollution in Dhaka. The DoE also suggested proper implementation of ‘Brick Manufacturing and Brick Kiln Establishment (Control) Act 2013 (revised 2019)’ to check pollution by brick kilns.

After analyzing the air quality index of Dhaka, it has been observed that pollution is much higher at night compared to daytime. Although, pollution has slightly reduced due to various activities taken by the government, it again starts increasing in the afternoon. Pollution due to dust clouds begin to intensify after 9:00pm. Last Thursday, Air Visuals’ ranking of Dhaka was on the top of the list of pollution for an hour.

On December 10 at 2:00pm, Dhaka’s air quality was measured 135 AQI and at 8:20pm it measured at 172 AQI, which is considered extremely unhealthy according to the standards for Bangladesh (NAAQS).

The air quality is categorized as good when the AQI score remains between 0-50 while the air is moderate when score is 51-100. When the number is between 101 and 150, the air is classified as unhealthy for sensitive groups. When the AQI value is between 201 and 300, every city dweller may begin to experience health effects.

Although two city corporations in Dhaka continue to spray water on city roads, it is not showing any significant result; because, the roads regain their previous posture within two to three hours after spraying water. Environment, Forest and Climate Affairs Minister Shahab Uddin said, “The city corporations’ spraying water does not suffice at all. This does not reduce air pollution. We will play our part by spraying water to counter pollution more intensely.”

He said this after an inter-ministerial meeting on December 2. However, after that meeting, there was no practical action taken to bring change in the way water was being sprayed on the roads immediately. Now, City Corporation has strengthened its water spraying activities at different roads of important areas in the capital.