It is alarming to note that Bangladesh's air quality was the worst in the world in 2021 while its capital, Dhaka, was the second most air polluted city, according to the World Air Quality Report 2021 from IQAir - a worldwide air quality data platform. Such a severe air quality rating for Dhaka should force the authorities concerned towards a decisive shift in policy.
Pollution and environmental challenges have occupied life and livelihood of the Dhakaities to a greater extent. Over the last years, air pollution has turned into a major public health concern in Dhaka and it has repeatedly been labelled as one of the 10 most polluted cities in the world and because of construction work going on the year round there is no sign of the situation improving any time soon. Dhaka’s inherently dusty air is made worse by countless unregulated construction sites – and the production of bricks and concrete to feed them.
We must frame appropriate strategies, ensure
good governance and strictly enforce laws to
reduce the extreme pollution in Dhaka
However, our city authorities hitherto have not taken any consistent and prudent action to address air pollution in the capital. It is worth mentioning that the current level of air pollution in Dhaka is responsible for the rise of various diseases like lung problems, cancer, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, respiratory problems etc.
Policymakers should understand and underscore the need for formulating new policies to improve Dhaka’s toxic air. Air pollution should be a key issue that authorities concerned must address in the sphere of sustainable construction. It is time to implement necessary laws to compel the builders and constructors to build roads and buildings following rules and regulations. The government, policy makers, civil society, the private sector and even individuals must play their role to control unusual growth of dust as well as other air pollutants.
Improvements in energy efficiency, increased use of less-or non-polluting renewable sources of energy are examples of measures that will benefit both air quality and the climate. We hope the city planners will frame appropriate strategies, ensure good governance and strictly enforce laws to reduce the extreme pollution in Dhaka.