The densely populated capital of Bangladesh has once again topped the list of cities with the worst air quality in the world. Reportedly, the capital's air quality index (AQI) was recorded at 174 at on Wednesday. It needs to be mentioned that an AQI between 101 and 200 is considered "unhealthy", particularly for sensitive groups.
Pollution and environmental challenges have occupied our life and livelihood to a greater extent. Over the last years, air pollution has turned into a major public health concern in Bangladesh particularly in capital Dhaka and it has repeatedly been labelled as one of the 10 most polluted cities in the world. Hitherto we have not taken any consistent and prudent action to address air pollution in Bangladesh.
It is time to implement necessary
laws to compel the builders and
constructors to build roads and
buildings following rules and regulations
According to the Lancet report titled ‘Global Burden of Diseases’, more than 200,000 people in Bangladesh died because of environment pollution in 2019. Reportedly, nearly 1.75 lakh people died due to air pollution, while over 30,000 deaths occurred because of water pollution. Experts are of the opinion 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 and ensure good governance to reduce the extreme pollution in Dhaka.