Dhaka, Bangladesh
Dust pollution must stop

Dust pollution must stop

The city is now full of dust, but it seems nobody is perturbed about it. In fact, the matter of road dust is being trivialized. ‘Dust thou art, to dust returneth’ is an inviolable truth. So, what is there in it to grudge about when the roads are dusty? Roads will naturally gather dust and it cannot be stopped any way. One is likely to come by such a reply when he expresses his exasperation about the road dust. But, according to medical science, the hazard of road dust is playing havoc now with public health. Reports on danger of road dust have become a matter of disquiet for us, because those tell of health perils. Healthcare has always been the biggest casualty in the country. Minister of Health, the Department of Environment (DoE), Bangladesh Paribesh Andolan (BAPA) and even the city fathers in the past appeared to be nonchalant about the growing hazards of road dust. Bangladesh constitution was amended in 2011 to include a constitutional directive to protect the environment and natural resources for the present and future generation. The pertinent question, therefore, is what then the authorities are doing to check the perils of road dust that is polluting the environment? The answer appears to be absolutely nix. Road dust recently has become the biggest source of pollution in the capital city, especially during the dry season, due to unplanned construction work. The construction work of Metro rail is going on; but, even this prominent mega-project, perhaps, has dismissed this aspect of health hazard. The air pollution from dust mixed with particles of cement, concrete crush, road-stone crush used for asphalt ribbons and mega projects like flyovers, rail and road repairs, unbridled high rises, is destroying the city environment. The number of patients suffering from respiratory ailments like allergic cold, emphysema, bronchitis, asthma, obstinate cough etc. has increased alarmingly because of dust pollution. The concentration of dust particles is on the constant rise. Dust generates wax in human ears and the number of ear-infection cases is up. Airborne dust from construction sites also causes ecological degradation including air and water pollution. Dust is also causing abnormal rise in pulmonary diseases and allergy among dwellers. Moreover, it contains harmful fly ash blowing from construction sites. In the past, the municipal scavenging staff and sweepers would water roads to remove the dust. Unfortunately, this is not done now-a-days. The mayors should strictly see that roads are regularly kept clean of dust and dirt. The construction firms also in performing their obligation to citizens should take necessary measures to minimize dust pollution. Besides, DoE must not sit idle over the problem and it must take some measures to check dust pollution.

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