DHAKA, Feb 14 (BSS) – Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin today said the brick kilns located around Dhaka city are responsible for 58 percent of its air pollution.
“The government has taken strong stance against polluters….we are not getting expected results due to various difficulties,” he told a stakeholders’ workshop on the “Draft Clean Air Act for Bangladesh”.
The Department of Environment, Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA) and Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) jointly organised the workshop at Hotel Intercontinental in the city.
Speaking as the chief guest, Shahab Uddin said the government is committed to protecting the country’s environment and that is why it has strengthened legal structures to do so.
Citing the findings of a World Bank’s study, he said apart from brick kilns, growing number of vehicles and construction works are also contributing to the air pollution.
Noting that various diseases, including cancer, are on the rise in the country, he said the government is firmly committed to changing the situation.
As per the commitment of the government made in its election manifesto, the environment minister said it has been taking various measures to check air pollution in the country.
“It is quite impossible for the government to protect the country’s environment alone. Your cooperation is a must to save environment,” he added.
Deputy Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Habibun Nahar said brick kilns are being set up indiscriminately polluting air across the country.
“Many brick kilns have no environmental clearance to produce bricks, while many brick kilns having no environmental clearances violates environmental rules,” she said.
Additional Secretary of the Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry Dr SM Munjurul Hannan Khan, DoE Director General Dr Sultan Ahmed, Prof Dr Md Ali Ahammad Shoukat Chowdhury of Buet and BELA Chief Executive Syeda Rizwana Hasan, among others, spoke at the workshop.