Dhaka, Nov 26 – The High Court on Tuesday ordered the authorities concerned to shut down all the illegal brick kilns in Dhaka and its surrounding areas — Narayanganj, Munshiganj, Gazipur and Manikganj — within 15 days to reduce air pollution in the capital city. The HC bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahsan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader passed the order and asked the authorities to conduct mobile courts, if necessary.
The High Court also ordered the government to form a high-powered committee, headed by the environment secretary, to identify the causes of air pollution and formulate a guideline for reducing it in capital Dhaka and submit a report within 30 days.
The court also fixed January 5 as the next date for hearing this case.
Advocate Manzil Morshed stood for the writ petitioner while Deputy Attorney General Barrister Abdullah Al Mahmud Bashar represented the state.
According to a report of the World Bank and the Department of Environment (DoE) on air pollution in Dhaka, the number one reason of air pollution is brick kilns. Besides, a report by a Norwegian specialist also mentioned 52 percent of the air pollution in the capital city is caused by brick kilns, Bashar told reporters.
The writ petition was filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB) on January 27 attaching different reports published in media on air pollution in Dhaka.
On January 28, the High Court ordered the DoE to conduct mobile court drives twice a week to take legal action against those responsible for air pollution in the capital.
The court also asked the authorities concerned to take steps to encircle areas undergoing development and repair any damaged areas within 15 days to check the spread of dust. It also ordered to spray water in ‘dusk-prone’ areas twice a day.
The mayors of the two city corporations, executive officers and the DoE director-general was asked to submit a report within two weeks on implementation of the court order.
The court also issued a rule asking the government to explain as to why the inactiveness of the local administration to prevent air pollution should not be declared illegal and why the authorities concerned should not be directed to take effective measures to prevent air pollution in the capital. – UNB