Environment Minister M Shahab Uddin on Sunday said the air quality of Dhaka city has turned worse between 2016 and 2019 as works on various large infrastructure projects saw a sharp rise during the period.
He made the remark while responding to a query from Awami League MP Manjur Hossain from Faridpur-1 in Parliament.
Environment Minister M Shahab Uddin. Photo: Collected
The minister said brick kilns, vehicles, construction of different infrastructures and road digging, civic waste, biomass and trans-boundary influence are responsible for the air pollution in the capital.
He, however, said the government has taken various short-, mid- and long-term plans to control the air pollution. “The government has already shut down around 600 brick kilns across the country. All illegal brick kilns will be closed down gradually.”
As part of the short-term plan, the government ensured checking of the emission level of vehicles while providing fitness certificates, Shahab Uddin said, adding that the government has also ensured waste management of city corporations and stopped burning of waste.
As part of the mid-term plan, he said, the government has taken measures to set up high-speed water sprinklers at different hotspots of Dhaka city to control the air pollution through spraying water at high speed from very high above.
Besides, the government will set up dust suckers and introduce vacuum sweeping trucks instead of manual broom to clean roads, the minister said.
As part of the long-term plan, he said, the government has also taken various measures, including enacting a complete Clean Air Act-2020, for effectively dealing with the entire air pollution.
Replying to a query from Awami League MP from Dhaka-7 Haji Mohammad Salim, Shabab Uddin said the government created forest on 94,939 hectares and brought 71,456 kms under forestation in the last 36 years since 1982 through social forestation and involving local helpless and poor people.
He also said the government distributed around Tk 356.82 crore among 6.78 lakh people who were engaged in the social forestation during the period.
A man was killed and nine others , including two children, were injured as a boiler of a rice mill went off in Chowrongibazar area of Sadar upazila on Sunday.
The deceased was identified as Soleman Ali, 40, son of late Abbas Ali.
Witnesses said when some workers were boiling rice in the mill the boiler exploded, killing Soleman on the spot and injuring others.
The injured were rushed to Sadar Hospital.
Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Abdullah Al Mamun said local administration has taken steps to provide proper treatment and financial assistance to the wounded.
The first Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) between Bangladesh and Qatar will be held in the city on Monday.
The meeting will begin at 10:30am at State guesthouse Meghna.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam and his Qatari counterpart Soltan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi will lead the Bangladesh and Qatari sides respectively at the FOC, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Dutch university Prof Syed Mansoob Murshed on Sunday said quality institutions are these days considered to be the sine qua non for achieving long-term economic growth and development by mainstream neo-classical economists.
Syed Murshed, professor of the Economics of Conflict and Peace at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), the Erasmus University of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, requested the policymakers to emphasise quality education and infrastructural development to meet the challenges of next generation.
He made the request while delivering a lecture organised by Centre for Peace and Justice (CPJ) of Brac University on Sunday at CPJ’s conference room.
Syed Murshed, also professor of Economics at Coventry University in the UK, said excessive emphasis on institutions can serve to divert attention from the global trend of rising inequality which is arguably the greatest menace to mankind at present, said a press release.
“We need to be aware of the dismal prospects for growth spurts based on manufacturing, notwithstanding the serendipitous location of countries like Bangladesh which have assisted manufacturing led economic growth,” he said.
The CPJ jointly organised the lecture with the Department of Economics and Social Sciences titled ‘Institutions and Development’.
Executive Director of Centre for Peace and Justice Manzoor Hasan moderated the discussion while Research Fellow of CPJ Dr Samia Huq and students of various departments, Brac University were present.
Bangladesh and Algeria have expressed willingness to strengthen bilateral ties for enhanced substantive cooperation in the fields of trade and commerce, socioeconomic development and people-to-people contacts to the mutual benefits of the two countries.
Bangladesh hoped that the reopening of the Algerian mission in Dhaka on the eve of the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and of the Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence will usher in newer avenues of bilateral cooperation.
Newly appointed Ambassador of Algeria to Bangladesh Rabah Larbi met Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam on Sunday at their respective offices at the Foreign Ministry following his recent presentation of credentials to President Md Abdul Hamid.
Both the ministers welcomed the new ambassador and assured him of all-out cooperation in discharging his duties, particularly in facilitating the reopening process of the new Algerian mission in Dhaka.
They appreciated the Algerian government’s decision in reopening their resident diplomatic mission in Dhaka in reciprocity of reopening of the Bangladesh mission in Algeria in 2016.
Dr Momen and Shahriar recalled with happiness the historic visit of Bangabandhu to Algeria to attend the Fourth NAM Summit in September 1973 and appreciated the Algerian government’s gesture in preserving the honoured memory of Bangabandhu’s historic visit through dedicating a corner in the Palace of Nations in Algiers for displaying his pictures and sayings.
They recalled with gratitude that Algeria was among the first Arab countries to accord political recognition to Bangladesh by sponsoring Bangladesh’s admission into the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) during the Fourth NAM Summit held in Algiers in 1973, according to the Foreign Ministry.
The ministers reminisced about the close friendship between Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and then Algerian President Huari Boumedienne and expressed the hope that their legacy will be followed to revitalise the bilateral relations through increased interaction and engagement.
The new ambassador emphasised on further consolidating bilateral relations, especially through holding political consultations and boosting economic and trade linkages.
He showed interest in importing quality products from Bangladesh, including pharmaceuticals, jute and jute products, readymade garments and other consumer goods.
The foreign minister urged the Algerian ambassador to explore opportunities for cooperation in energy, air connectivity and skilled manpower, among other potential sectors, and emphasised on the importance of exchange of visits both at public and and private sector levels to reap the benefit of people-to-contacts.