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Chittagong city continues to suffer from acute dust pollution

  • Published at 09:44 am December 2nd, 2020
Air pollution
Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

The air has already become thick with dust rising from construction of residential buildings, elevated expressway, and roads which are being dug for maintenance of utility services

With the coming of the dry season, residents of Chittagong city continue to face an intense dust problem as long stretches of roads in the port city are being reconstructed for different development projects.  

The air has already become thick with dust rising from construction of residential buildings, elevated expressway, and roads which are being dug for maintenance of utility services.

Already ridden with traffic congestion and a lack of space for pedestrians, such road excavation activities have narrowed down major thoroughfares in the city causing disruption in traffic movement.

Currently, Chittagong Wasa has been excavating roads for laying pipelines in the city, while Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) has been constructing and repairing canals, drains, bridges and culverts of the city for implementing a project to address waterlogging of the port city.

Usually, city corporation authorities are tasked with repairing and carpeting the roads after finishing their tasks for any development work. However, service-providing government agencies, particularly Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) and Chittagong Wasa, continue to shift the blame for not fixing roads after finishing work. 

To ease dust menace during the dry season, the CCC launched a water-spraying program in the port city on October 18.

While inaugurating the water-spraying programme, CCC Administrator Khorshed Alam Sujon said that the dust has increased in the city due to the road-digging of many agencies including CWasa.

“The service-providing agencies must take the sufferings of the city dwellers into cognizance before taking up any development project. People are getting infected with many diseases due to the dust menace,” he said.

Sujon also requested the government agencies like Chittagong Port Authority, CWasa, CDA and Fire Service to spray water on their respective premises to ease the dust menace.  

CCC Additional Chief Engineer Rafiqul Islam said the corporation had already procured three modern road sweeping trucks which will be equipped with water tanks for spraying, if required.

The urban planners said that lack of coordination among the utility service providing agencies add to the public woes.

Urban planner Asique Imran alleged that the service providers take no heed of the people's sufferings while implementing the projects.

“Moving around many of the city streets has become a real ordeal for the city residents as the utility service providers are constantly digging roads. On some occasions, the same roads are dug up several times. Moreover, the dug-up roads are left unattended for weeks,” he told Dhaka Tribune.

The utility service providers should implement the projects taking public woes into consideration,” added the urban planner. 

According to the public health experts, polluted air and dust can cause diseases like asthma, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, nasal allergy and rhinitis.

Doctors say the high level of air pollution increases the number of patients with coughing and breathing problems in winter.

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