The High Court yesterday asked the government to inform it on what steps it has been taken to tackle air pollution including, dust, smoke and other deadly elements causing damage to people’s health in Dhaka, Gazipur and Narayanganj cities.In response to a writ petition, the HC bench comprising Justice Zubair Rahman Chowdhury and Justice Md Khosruzzaman came up with the order.
It also issued a rule asking the government to explain why its inaction to tackle the air pollution of the Dhaka North, Dhaka South, Gazipur and Narayanganj city corporations should not be declared illegal.
It also asked the government to explain why it should not be directed to remove the deadly elements from the city corporation areas in order to protect the people’s health.
The home and the forest and environment secretaries, the inspector general of police, the Dhaka North and Dhaka South city corporations, mayors of Gazipur and Narayanganj city corporations, and director general of the Department of Environment have been made respondents to reply to the rule by February 25.
The HC bench fixed February 25 for next hearing on the petition.
Supreme Court lawyers—Advocate Julhas Uddin Ahmed and Advocate Md Mojibur Rahman—-filed the writ petition with the HC on January 17 saying the city corporation sweepers abruptly sweep the roads in the morning and gather the dusts on roadsides. Therefore, dusts and wastages are spreading in the air.
Sometimes, the wastages are burnt creating smoke, polluting the air and environment creating hazards to people’s health, according to the petition. Due to air pollution thousands of people died and health of lakhs of people are damaged every year.
They prayed to the court to pass necessary orders on the government to take steps in this regard.
Julhas Uddin Ahmed himself argued for the petitioners while Deputy Attorney General Tapas Kumar Biswas and Assistant Attorney General Titas Hillol Rema represented the state.
Later Ahmed told reporters that the writ petition was filed as public-interest litigation was filed following a World Bank report.
Quoting the report, Ahmed said that the report alleged that the air pollution is responsible for the loss of more than 1,500 lives in Bangladesh every year. Also, it is directly harming 6.5 million people and inflicting a loss of Tk 124 billion, according to the report. – Staff Reporter