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No action to curb air pollution irks HC

DoE asked to submit report in two weeks

Published : Monday, 6 February, 2023 at 12:00 AM  Count : 176

Expressing grave concern over the non-implementation of its earlier directive to prevent air pollution in Dhaka, the High Court (HC) on Sunday commented that people are being killed by pollution.
"Even after the High Court directive, a drop of its orders to prevent air pollution has not been implemented. Illegal brick kilns have also not been stopped," the HC bench comprising Justice KM Kamrul Quader and Justice Muhammad Ali came up with the observation while hearing on a petition filed in this regard.

"People are being killed by pollution. Many live abroad, their sons and daughters also live abroad. They don't care about Dhaka's air pollution. But we live in this country. We must stay in this country. Save people from air pollution," the HC bench said.

Expressing its anger towards the concerned authorities including the Department of Environment, the HC bench warned, "If the instructions of the High Court are not implemented, water is not sprinkled, then we will summon the concerned authorities and ask for an explanation."

Later, the HC bench asked the Department of Environment, two City Corporations of Dhaka, Inspector General of Police (IGP) and Rajuk authority to implement its previous order and submit a compliance report before it within two weeks.

The HC bench also fixed February 22 for next hearing on the petition.

Earlier on January 31, the same bench of the HC directed the government to inform it by February 5 on what steps it has taken to curb air pollution in Dhaka, the capital.

The HC bench came up with the order following a supplementary petition filed by the Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB) seeking its directive in this regard.

Advocate Manzill Murshid, President of HRPB, who moved the petition told reporters that they have filed the petition following a media report published in various national dailies over the matter. Earlier a report was published in the national dailies stating that Dhaka's air is severely polluted for 317 days a year.

Later, attaching the report, Manzill applied to the High Court for instructions to implement the nine-point directive of the High Court to curb air pollution in Dhaka.

Following the same petition, the HC on January 28, 2019 ordered Director General of the DoE to take steps to conduct mobile courts twice a week against those responsible for air pollution in Dhaka.
In 2020, in an order the HC gave nine-point directive that includes ensuring the use of covers on trucks or other vehicles that transport sand or soil in capital Dhaka.      

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