Press Conference demanding effective implementation of environmental mitigation measures and laws to control air and noise pollution in Dhaka City.

Waterkeepers Bangladesh Consortium was organized a press conference at National Press Club on 29 May 2022. The event was titled “Press Conference demanding effective implementation of environmental mitigation measures and laws to control air and noise pollution in Dhaka City”. In the press conference Waterkeepers Bangladesh Consortium revealed research findings of a year-long study on air and noise of Dhaka city. In this connection Waterkeepers Bangladesh Consortium demanded to increase the budget allocation in the Ministry of Environment, finalize the draft of Clean Air Act 2019, appoint environment BCS cadre, aware the public according to the Noise Pollution Rules of 2006, monitor it regularly to prevent noise pollution and implement High Court directives to prevent air pollution.

The press conference was chaired and moderated by Sharif Jamil, Coordinator, Waterkeepers Bangladesh. Md. Kamruzzaman, Project Coordinator, Waterkeepers Bangladesh delivered the welcome address. The keynote paper was presented by Prof. Dr. Ahmad Kamruzzaman Majumdar, the Chairman of the Center for Atmospheric Pollution Studies (CAPS), Stamford University Bangladesh.

Presenting the study report, Professor. Ahmed Kamruzzaman Majumder said that the air condition in Dhaka was “unhealthy” according to the index. He said the average annual volume of Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5 particles is 77 micrograms per cubic meter, which is 5.1 times higher than the standard (15 micrograms). The average annual volume of PM10 particles is 105 micrograms per cubic meter, which is 2.1 times higher than the standard (50 micrograms). He said air was most polluted in the Shahbagh area of ​​Dhaka city, where the average annual amount of PM2.5 was 85 micrograms per cubic meter, which was 5.6 times higher than the norm. Analyzing the noise results, he said that the highest noise level was found in Gulshan-2 area of ​​Dhaka city where the noise level was 95.44 decibels which is 1.7 times higher the national standard for daytime (55 decibels) for residential area. He informed that if entire Dhaka city is compared with the national standard of mixed areas, it was found above 60 decibels for 82% of the time in all areas.

Professor Md. Nurul Islam, Department of Geography and Environment, Jahangirnagar University; Ms. Sumona Masud, Project Management Specialist, Civil Society Advisor, USAID; Mainuddin Ahamad, Chief of Party, PAR, Counterpart International; Professor Mohammad Ali Naqi, Former Vice Chancellor, Stamford University Bangladesh; Mihir Biswas, Joint Secretary, Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA); Kazi Sarwar Imtiaz Hasmi, Former Additional Director General of Department of Environment were present among others in the press conference. CSO leaders from Buriganga, Balu and Turag river areas were also present. The leaders present at the press conference expressed the view that development of the situation is not possible without the sincerity of all concerned including the concerned authorities of the government, people, journalists and people’s representatives in protecting the environment and preventing air and noise pollution.

This press conference on pollution hot spots event is a systematic follow-up action of planned project activities by WKB Consortium. Because, Waterkeepers Bangladesh (WKB) consortium is currently implementing an anti-pollution advocacy project.