World’s most polluted city: Dhaka


Humans breathe by inhaling and exhaling air. How can one continue to live if the air is polluted? The risk of individuals dying due to air pollution is increasing. The World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that approximately 7 million people worldwide die yearly due to air pollution.

Strokes, heart disease, lung cancer, and acute respiratory infections are the main factors contributing to the significant rise in mortality rates.

Due to the current situation, Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, has consistently held the top position as the most polluted city in the world over the past week. Dhaka ranks at the top of the list with a score of 315 on the Air Quality Index, indicating that the city is highly hazardous in terms of air quality.

In the past, Dilisn, located in India, held the distinction of being the first. However, Dhaka has surpassed Dilisn and is currently in the first position.

In September 2022, Dhaka scored only 61 on the Air Quality Index (AQI). However, at the beginning of 2023, Dhaka rose to the top of the list, surpassing its previous ranking of number 31. The reason for this increase in air pollution is the arrival of the dry season, which occurs year after year.

The United Nations reports that approximately 9 out of 10 people worldwide are exposed to polluted air, resulting in an estimated 7 million premature deaths annually. These fatalities are primarily concentrated in low- and middle-income countries. While it may not be feasible to completely eradicate air pollution, numerous measures can be taken to mitigate its impact effectively. To reduce pollution, it is essential to first identify the root causes of pollution. Brick kilns, vehicle emissions, and dust from construction sites are the main causes of air pollution in Dhaka, according to a report from the Department of Environment and the World Bank published in March 2019. Shall we cease operations in all three areas: brickyards, construction, and vehicles? Proceeding with proper planning for these three controls is possible.

First, let’s discuss the brick kilns in Dhaka city. These kilns are located in various areas, both in the northern and southern parts of the city. Scattering was fine.

The issue in Bangladesh is that the country experiences a distinct seasonal pattern where the wind blows from the north for six months and then switches to mishandling from the south for the remaining six months.

The polluting smoke from the brick kilns is being carried back into Dhaka city. The pollution in Dhaka city could have been significantly reduced if specific areas were designated for brick kilns, preventing the entry of polluted air into the city.

The use of modern methods in brick kilns can effectively reduce pollution. Which technologies can be employed to mitigate the emission of polluting black smoke from kilns? Many furnaces are not adhering to regulations, increasing pollution levels. The kiln should be closed if modern technology is not being used.

In many countries around the world, brick kilns are not commonly used. Instead, cement blocks are used as a substitute for traditional bricks. This method can also be implemented in our country, significantly reducing pollution.

The majority of vehicles in Dhaka city are in poor condition. Many of them operate using outdated and inefficient engines. As a result, the engines produce a significant amount of black smoke. First and foremost, it is imperative to stop using unfit vehicles. To address the pollution issue, Dhaka city should focus on reducing the number of cars.

Additionally, the implementation of modern technology in fuel can also contribute to the reduction of pollution levels. We can effectively reduce pollution levels by increasing the adoption of electric vehicles and decreasing the usage of fossil fuel vehicles. Examples of vehicles include electric cars and metro rail systems.

Dust generated at construction sites is a significant contributor to air pollution. First, it is essential to understand the mechanisms by which pollution is generated. There are two main types of construction work: government construction work and private construction work. Road works typically cause less pollution than public construction projects.

Pollution levels can also rise significantly when drainage or road construction projects are prolonged over several years. One major issue is road works on one side of the road, with vehicles passing by on the other. This results in the dust quickly mixing with the surrounding air.

Drain holes are excavated, and the excavated sand is piled up next to them. The vehicles’ wind blows the sand into the air. It is essential to develop a specific plan to prevent this situation from occurring. Private construction is a significant contributor to the increasing pollution levels. When constructing a building, placing sand on the roadside is standard practice. However, it is essential to note that construction materials often uncover this sand. As a result, when the wind blows, the sand becomes airborne and mixes with the air, leading to air pollution. Before commencing work on a specific site, ensuring sufficient cover is in place is essential. This will prevent any sand particles from escaping beyond the designated area.

The City Corporation should take more significant measures. The development plan should prioritise environmental sustainability. Engaging in development work that endangers people’s lives is not justified.

It is essential to regularly monitor construction activities in urban areas to assess their potential environmental impact. It is imperative to take action whenever someone violates the law, regardless of the location. When the city corporation cleaners clean the streets at night, dust becomes airborne.

This is because they do not use water while sweeping. The city corporation should implement a mandatory water sprinkling policy. The reduction of air pollution will be achieved. The city corporation should ensure an adequate number of dustbins are available in all locations, allowing for proper disposal of garbage in designated areas.

The utilisation of advanced technology is crucial for effectively removing industrial waste. Air pollution tends to be more prevalent during the dry season. Therefore, sprinkling adequate water on the roads during this time is essential. Implementing this measure will prevent dust particles from becoming airborne, significantly reducing air pollution levels.

Public awareness is essential to addressing air pollution and cannot be replaced by other means. A willingness to abide by the law makes it possible to prevent crime, regardless of implementing numerous laws.

Although the city corporation has provided dustbins by the side of the road, you decide to eat a banana and throw the peel away somewhere else. Before any action is taken, prioritising public awareness is crucial. If everyone knows their respective positions, our city and its people will be saved.

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