Speakers at a webinar urged the authorities concerned to pay more attention to public health issues like air pollution, environment pollution that makes a cost every year.
“Some 173,000 people died of environmental pollution only in 2019. This has been killing us silently,” said Saber Hossain Chowdhury, chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on Environment, Forrest and Climate Change Ministry, while addressing the virtual seminar titled: “Talks on Air Pollution in Dhaka: Problem and Mitigation Measures” organized by Energy and Power magazine on Saturday.
He observed that the public health issues are not getting adequate attention from the policy making level on priority basis.
“Public health issues should get top priority and due focus considering their importance as a public interest,” he said.
Also read: Minister vows tough fight against air pollution in Dhaka
The seminar was also addressed, among others by former power secretary Sultan Ahmed, energy expert and BUET Prof Ijaz Hossain, former executive director of Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority SM Saleh Uddin, and Prof of Ad-Din Hospital Dr Mahmuda Hasan.
Saber Hossain also observed that tobacco is a silent killer like air pollution. “But tobacco farming is also getting support from corona stimulus-fund,” he said adding that we have to come out of such double standard.
He said Dhaka city’s air is getting polluted due to the development works. But no money is spent to address this air pollution.
Prof Ijaz Hossain said it is reported that brickfields are causing 58 percent of the air pollution. But no step is being taken to stop such anti-environment industry.
Also read: Dhaka’s air pollution: HC seeks quick action as it outlined
He said only a strong commitment from the government can stop such industry.
He also observed that 50 percent of the solid waste of Dhaka city remains uncollected. “So, where do they go? Possibly, those solid wastes get dried and mix up with the air of the city.”
He also identified the transport sector as one of the leading sectors to be blamed for air pollution. But no measures are being taken against faulty transports.
SM Saleh Uddin said public transports in Dhaka city do not follow the prescribed guidelines in checking their emission.
Also read: Increase use of public transport to reduce air pollution: Minister
He said the ongoing mega projects have to be implemented within the stimulated timeframe to save the mega city from environmental disaster.
(Written by SH and Edited by SSK)