The curse of air pollution

by Sabrina Zarin | Published: 00:00, Jan 30,2019 | Updated: 21:30, Jan 29,2019


A New Age file photo shows dust springing from an unrepaired road at Jurain in Dhaka in December 2017. — Ali Hossain Mintu

WHEN the green woods laugh with the voice of joy, | And the dimpling stream runs laughing by; | When the air does laugh with our merry wit, | And the green hill laughs with the noise of it… as nicely narrated by William Blake… but now are days where we find greenery crying out to breathe out fresh air but dust and pollution engrosses the nature and beauty with its deadly effect creating different environmental issues.
Bangladesh has seen deadly air pollution over the years and it keeps on getting worse, as opposed to improving, and, as we see, Dhaka is ranked third in the World Health Organisation’s 2019 list of most polluted cities of the world. It is completely a shame how we treat our land and its air without paying attention to the amount of danger we have invited to everlasting health issues for years and generations to come by. We knew our land to be full of greenery and a bunch of fresh air but exhaust fumes, wastes in the form of toxic gases not properly treated, deforestation, has added to fuming up the whole process leaving our much-loved Dhaka city in a fragile condition where we cannot breathe fresh air. We are advised to wear masks from inhaling this air, instead of enjoying the freshness of the smell of the air.
In a recent case filed with the High Court Division by Human Rights and Peace in which the High Court on January 28 ordered that the environment department should conduct mobile court drives twice a week against parties causing air pollution in the capital. Further, the court ordered that within the next 15 days, all construction and renovation sites in Dhaka must be covered up in such ways that dust does not spread from there during the dry season and ordered to spray water in dust prone areas twice a day. Thus, the authorities concerned have been asked to perform duties entrusted on them and this is expected to be the starting point to rage our war against this pollution which in turn will help us to live in a clean and clear city where we can breathe fresh air.
It is to be noted that it is the joint effort of society and the government to act on right now hand-in-hand to combat against air pollution which will accelerate the process of this cleaning system. The air pollution not only creates air-borne diseases but also causes the environment to fall pawn to other related diseases.
As we are growing in our economy and our country is developing at a rapid pace, it is of utmost importance that we preserve the beauty we have and make our city green once again where we can happily lead a healthy life.

Barrister Sabrina Zarin is an advocate of the Supreme Court and partner in FM Associates.

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